The Official World Curling Federation
Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games Website
07th - 16th March 2014

Day 2 Roundup

Slovakia second Dusan Pitonak and his team have won all three of their games so far Photo: WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

Defending Paralympic champions Canada and debutants Slovakia finished the second day of play at the top of the standings as the only unbeaten teams in the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games wheelchair curling competition.

Two sessions of round-robin play took place today inside the Ice Cube Curling Centre in Sochi, Russia.

In the morning session, Slovakia earned their second win of the competition against China.

After three ends they were leading 4-1 and although China battled back to 4-3 after five ends, Slovakia made a breakthrough in the sixth end when their third Branislav Jakubec managed to clear a Chinese stone sitting in the four foot ring behind several guards.

This play eventually led to Slovakia taking two points before they claimed a steal of two points in the seventh end before China conceded with the final score 8-3.

Reflecting afterwards, Slovakia skip Radoslav Duris said: “"We are so happy that we have won this match. To have imagined before that we would come here and after two games have a 2-0 record was just a dream to us.”

Talking about how their efforts are being monitored back home he said: "Many people in Slovakia now are following the sport at home and we are sure that after these Games there will be much more of the sport in our country. If the sport becomes more popular we will have others to play against; right now we just have each other."

Great Britain picked up the first of their two wins today by defeating Vancouver 2010 bronze medallists Sweden by 6-4.

Although Sweden were leading 4-2 after five ends of play, Great Britain took two points in the sixth end before stealing a single point in the seventh end to take a 5-4 lead.

In the eighth end, Great Britain skip Aileen Neilson made a draw to the four foot rings against two Swedish counting stones and when Swedish skip Jalle Jungell missed a take-out with his last stone Great Britain took a steal of one point and a 6-4 victory.

After the game Great Britain skip Aileen Neilson said: “It's a good feeling to have a win under our belt. We know it's just the start so we need to continue building on it."

United States secured their first win of the competition as they defeated Norway. Whilst USA raced to a 4-1 lead after three ends, the main turning point came in the fifth end.

USA skip Patrick McDonald was forced to make a difficult take-out through a narrow port to score three points and give them a substantial lead that they would never lose as they eventually won 8-5.

Afterwards, USA skip Patrick McDonald, said: “Yesterday we had two games that we lost, but we played really well. We didn't get down; there's nobody down. We just stayed focused, we had a good time and stayed positive and today we were able to control our weight. We just went out there and did our best."

He continued: "Everybody on our team realises that it's a nine game round-robin and two losses can happen, whether they're at the beginning of the week or the end of the week."

Home nation Russia recorded their second win of the competition so far as they subjected Finland to their second defeat.

Although the teams were tied 2-2 at the fourth end break, Russia took control of the game in the seventh end. Finnish skip Markku Karjalainen came up short of the house on two of his draws after Russia skip Andrey Smirnov made a draw through a port which eventually led to a score of three points.

This was enough to make Finland concede the game with the final score 7-4 to Russia after seven ends of play.

Shortly after coming off the ice, Russia skip Andrey Smirnov said: “There is just one strategy - to win. In the eighth end, it was simply to take out all (the opponent's stones). There were no challenges today, just to correct our mistakes. By winning today it means we have corrected our mistakes.”

Slovakia then went on to make it two wins from two today as they came from behind to defeat Finland in the afternoon session of play.

Finland were leading 6-3 after six ends before Slovakia turned the game around. Slovakia skip Radoslav Duris took advantage of several mistakes by Finland which left him with the task of drawing into a house containing only three Slovakian stones and no Finnish stones, to score four points.

Slovakia then stole two points in the eighth and final end to record a 9-6 win which left them in join top spot in the standings after two days of play.

Afterwards, Slovakia skip Radoslav Duris said: "I called a time-out (before his first stone in the seventh end) and I am glad for that. The coach helped us make a good decision, we soon found out it was the right decision. We had a chance to score three points and they made a mistake and left just our stones (in the house), so the chance became four.”

He continued: “I think it was the most important moment in this game. The decision was to believe that we could put the stones where we wanted them to go."

Canada joined Slovakia in top spot as they won their game against Sweden. By the fifth end Canada were ahead 5-2 thanks in part to a hit and roll made by Canadian skip Jim Armstrong with his last stone in the fourth end which eventually proved to be the stone that stole a single point for Canada and gave them the lead for the first time in the game.

Canada went on to win by 7-4 to keep their 100% record intact, matching Slovakia’s record of three wins from three games so far.

After their latest win, Canada skip Jim Armstrong said: “We've always historically had great games with Sweden and Jalle Jungnell – it was the same again this afternoon. They had all of the advantage early and we managed to really bail out on the fourth end just to stay alive."

Great Britain completed a successful day as well as they defeated Korea in the only other session of afternoon play.

After Great Britain raced into the lead after stealing three single points in the first three ends, Korea narrowed the gap to just one point to make the score 3-2 going into the fourth end break.

However, in the seventh end, Great Britain effectively won the game. British skip Aileen Neilson made a take-out through a port to clear a Korean stone past several British stones that eventually led to a score of five points.

Great Britain eventually ran Korea out of stones in the eighth end to make the final score 8-4 after seven ends.

Following their victory, Great Britain skip Aileen Neilson said: “I’m delighted that the team worked really hard together, the dynamics were brilliant, we really supported each other and came out with another win which is exactly what we wanted.

She continued: “We had a good start in that game, kept it clean and managed to steal ones. Korea had a good fight back but we stayed patient, dug in and got our big end in the seventh and managed to keep it clean in the eighth.”

Play begins tomorrow at 09:30 followed by another session at 15:30 (both times MSK).

RESULTS:
Session 3: USA 8, Norway 5; Sweden 4, Great Britain 6; China 3, Slovakia 8; Finland 4, Russia 7. (Bye – Canada and Korea)

Session 4: Canada 7, Sweden 4; Finland 6, Slovakia 9; Great Britain 8, Korea 4. (Bye Norway & USA)

STANDINGS:
Standings after 4 sessions of play:

1. Canada 3-0
1. Slovakia 3-0
3. Great Britain 2-1
3. Russia 2-1
5. China 1-2
5. Korea 1-2
5. Norway 1-2
5. Sweden 1-2
5. USA 1-2
10. Finland 0-3

Rankings:
Rankings are determined by rule C9 of the World Curling Federation's ‘The Rules of Curling and Rules of Competition’. Details can be obtained at www.worldcurling.org/rules-and-regulations

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