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

Day 4 Roundup

Finland picked up their first win today Photo: WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

Canada and Russia both remain joint top of the standings after four days of play at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games wheelchair curling competition being played in the Ice Cube Curling Centre in Sochi, Russia.

Russia kept up the pressure on Canada, who had a bye this morning, thanks to their win against last year’s World Wheelchair Curling Championship silver medallists Sweden in the morning session of play.

Although Sweden stole one point in the first end, Russia drew level in the next end before stealing two points in the third end.

Sweden managed to pull level again, at 3-3, in the fifth end before Russia skip Andrew Smirnov cleared the only Swedish stone in the house to leave four of his own and take a 7-3 lead in the sixth end.

In the next end Sweden scored a single point before conceding the game with the final score 7-4. This was Russia’s fifth win of the competition so far.

After the game, Russian skip Andrey Smirnov recalled the importance of the four points his team scored in the sixth end. He said: “Our stones were far away from each other in the house - we had a chance and we did it. That's why we were able to get four points, which was very important."

Swedish skip Jalle Jungnell complimented his opponent on this shot. He said: “He made an incredible shot around our guard and then we were left with a very, very difficult shot for me to know what to do with.”

By contrast Finland picked up their first win of the week as they defeated Great Britain.

After taking one point in the first end they then found themselves 5-0 up after stealing four points in the second end.

After Great Britain took one point back in the third end, Finland took another three points in the fourth end as skip Markku Karjalainen made a raise on his own stone to tap out a British stone laying second shot, taking the score to 8-1 by the fourth end break.

The second half didn’t get any better for Great Britain as Finland stole another five points in the fifth end. Although Great Britain took three points in the sixth end they conceded the game after seven ends of play with the final score 13-4.

Afterwards, Finland skip, Markku Karjalainen, said: “Now we can start to build and construct the games from the very first stones. We were able to lead and take care of our own game and the other team had to be chasing behind us. It's very relaxing to do it that way.”

The third and only other game of the morning session was between 2010 Paralympic Winter Games silver medallists Korea and Paralympic debutants Slovakia.

This was certainly a game of two halves as Slovakia entered the fourth end break 4-0 ahead. Korea then began their comeback in the fifth end as they took two points.

The game then turned in the sixth end as, facing four Korean stones in the twelve foot ring, Slovakia skip Radoslav Duris was light with his final draw to give up a steal of four points.

Korea then stole another point in the seventh end, which proved to be the final end as Slovakia conceded defeat with the final score 7-4 to Korea.

Korea were skipped again today by Jong-Pan Kim. After the game he explained the reason for the line-up change. He said: "We analysed our previous games and we found that it would be better if we changed my position to skip. That's why our scores and our skills went up today.”

On their prospects for play-off qualification he said: “We try to believe that if we win all our remaining games, we can probably make it to the final.”

In the afternoon session of play, Canada came from behind to beat China to keep up the pressure on hosts Russia at the top of the standings.

China were ahead 4-0 by the fourth end break but Canada got right back into the game with a score of three points in the fifth end.

As they put pressure on China, the turning point came in the seventh end for Canada. Their skip, Jim Armstrong, made a hit and roll with his first stone which ended up in the four foot ring.

China skip Haitao Wang then missed an attempted take-out which led to Canada taking four points for a 7-5 lead.

In the eighth end, Canada stole again, this time a single point, to win the game 8-5 and keep their place at the top of the standings alongside Russia.

After the game Canada skip, Jim Armstrong, said: “It was frustrating out there, I was struggling. It was kind of a reverse of last night (losing to Norway 8-6 in an extra end). Last night we had a game in hand and gave it away, essentially. Today we had a loss in hand and stumbled to a win."

On the next sheet, Great Britain bounced back from their earlier defeat as they beat Norway in seven ends.

After stealing a single point in the first end, Norway drew level with one point in the second end. Great Britain scored one point again in the third end to take a lead that they would never lose.

The game was tight however, at 4-3 in Great Britain’s favour, going into the seventh end. Skip Aileen Neilson, with her last stone, made a take-out to remove Norway’s shot stone, which gave her team three points and an important advantage going into the last end.

Great Britain then ran Norway out of stones in the eighth end to take a 7-3 win, their fourth of the competition so far.

After this game, Great Britain skip, Aileen Neilson, said: “We played well in that game. Getting the three in the seventh end really gave us some breathing space. We just had to make sure we did the maths and get rid of enough stones in the last end. We’re delighted to get the win.”

Sweden, who picked up the bronze medals in the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, earned their second win of the competition against Slovakia in this session.

After stealing four points in the first two ends, Slovakia struggled to get back into the game.

Sweden made sure of their victory in the seventh end when skip Jalle Jungell made a take-out on one of Slovakia’s stones which was counting as second stone.

This resulted in a score of four points Sweden and proved to be the last end of the game as Slovakia thereafter conceded with the final score 9-3.

After this game, Sweden skip Jalle Jungnell said: “We have to win everything now and hope for something good; it’s not even worth calculating. The only thing we can do now is focus on winning and maybe we will be very lucky.”

The fourth game of this session was between two teams also looking for their second win - USA and Finland.

The USA took early advantage in this game as they entered the fourth end break 5-1 ahead. Finland got themselves right back into it in the fifth end however. A couple of mistakes by the USA gave Finland the opportunity to draw for four points to tie the game.

USA then took the lead again with a score of one point in the sixth end before skip Patrick McDonald made an excellent take-out around a guard in the seventh end to force Finland skip Markku Karjalainen to play the same shot.

He couldn’t make it and gave up a steal of one point and USA a two point advantage going into the eighth and final end.

As Finland could only take one point from this final end, USA won 7-6 to move onto two wins and four losses.

Following their narrow victory, USA skip Patrick McDonald reflected on the game. He said: “After looking at the stats and stuff, seeing how they played, then trying to recollect all the times that we have played them, we knew they liked to have a lot of stones in play. So we thought let's just keep it as clean as possible."

He continued: "It turned out we drew them in, they put up their guard, we drew them in, and then we just started picking them off and hit them with a good one. We had a couple of key misses and they hit us with a four. But there's still plenty of time to keep playing and we did. We executed really well.”

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

RESULTS
Session 7:
Russia 7, Sweden 4; Great Britain 4, Finland 13; Korea 7, Slovakia 4. (Bye – Canada, China, Norway and USA)

Session 8: China 5, Canada 8; Norway 3, Great Britain 7; Sweden 9, Slovakia 3; USA 7, Finland 6. (Bye – Korea and Russia)

STANDINGS
Standings after 8 sessions of play:

1. Canada 5-1
1. Russia 5-1
3. Great Britain 4-2
4. China 3-3
4. Norway 3-3
4. Slovakia 3-3
7. Korea 2-4
7. Sweden 2-4
7. USA 2-4
10. Finland 1-5

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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Paralympic Winter Games Live Coverage:
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