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

Day 6 Roundup: semi-finalists confirmed

Great Britain's Jim Gault acknowledges the big comeback score against USA Photo: WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

China and Great Britain joined Russia and Canada in qualifying for the semi-finals following the final day of round-robin play in the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games wheelchair curling competition being played in the Ice Cube Curling Centre in Sochi, Russia.

The semi-finals were decided following this afternoon’s twelfth session of round-robin play, the two most significant results being Russia’s win against Slovakia and China’s victory over Great Britain.

Those results guaranteed the top four teams in the standings were Russia in first position; Canada second; China in third and Great Britain fourth.

As a result, Russia will play Great Britain in the 1v4 semi-final while Canada will play China in the 3v4 semi-final on Saturday morning.

China, skipped by Haitao Wang, created their own history today as they became the first Chinese team to reach the semi-finals of the Paralympic Winter Games wheelchair curling competition, having only made their debut in the competition this year.

Their game against Great Britain was tight until Great Britain missed two take-out shots in the fourth end to give China skip Haitao Wang the opportunity to draw into an open house to score three points and take a 5-1 lead.

China then stole another point in the fifth end and although Great Britain picked up two points in the sixth and seventh ends, they conceded after seven ends of play with the final score 6-3.

Afterwards, China skip Haitao Wang looked towards the semi-finals. He said: “We are much more excited now. Not as nervous, but excited. We were more nervous today than we were yesterday, but we are excited now because we are in the semi-finals."

On reaching the semi-finals, Great Britain skip Aileen Neilson said: “It's really exciting. When we started the round-robin, our aim was to get through to the play-offs and we've managed to win enough games to do that, so we are absolutely delighted.”

She continued: “I think when we came into this competition I always said it would be the team that was the most consistent throughout and I think we haven't been as consistent as we would like to be."

Russia guaranteed China and Great Britain’s place in the semi-finals by defeating Slovakia, who were still chasing a semi-final spot of their own.

The key turning point came in the seventh end when Russia skip Andrey Smirnov made a draw into the house to count three points and take a one point lead going into the final end.

Russia then went on to steal two points in the eighth end when Slovakia skip Radoslav Duris clipped a guard as he drew into the house, which meant that the final score was 7-4 to Russia.

After this win, which guaranteed them top spot in the rankings, Russia skip Andrey Smirnov said: “It feels really great. It was a really hard task for us to reach the semi-finals but we just did it. But we should never stop because we have two big games in front of us."

On the back of an earlier record win, against Slovakia, Canada lost their final game of the round-robin to Finland.

After scoring two points in the first end, Finland skip Markuu Karjalainen made a nice shot to clear a counting Canadian stone in the second end. Canadian skip Jim Armstrong missed his last shot to give up a steal of five points, giving Finland a 7-0 lead.

Finland then went on to score another five points, in comparison to Canada’s solitary point in the sixth end, which proved to be the last end, to conclude Finland’s debut at the Paralympic Winter Games with a 12-1 victory against Canada.

Sweden meanwhile finished off their round-robin campaign with a 13-3 win against Korea. Sweden gained a crucial advantage in the third end when skip Jalle Jungnell managed to score five points after Korea skip Jong-Pan Kim failed with a difficult raise attempt with his last stone.

That win saw Sweden pick up their fourth win of the week to finish in seventh place, while Korea finished in ninth.

Earlier in the day, Canada had created history not only by scoring the most number of points in a Paralympic Winter Games curling game, they also set the record for the highest win margin by defeating Slovakia 16-0.

Slovakia started with the hammer which proved worthless as Canada stole all of their sixteen points in the first six ends to earn their place in the history books.

The all Scandinavian game between Sweden and Norway also proved to be a one sided affair as Sweden ran out 11-1 winners.

Sweden stole nine points in the first five ends which proved too much for Norway who conceded after seven ends of play.

The two other morning session games were a lot closer, with only one point splitting the teams.

Great Britain staged a late comeback against USA as they defeated them after an extra end.

Although USA were up 5-1 at the fourth end break, the key turning point for Great Britain came in the seventh end.

USA missed six shots in a row which gave Great Britain skip Aileen Neilson an open draw into the house to score five points and take a 7-6 lead.

After levelling the game in the eighth end with one point, USA skip Patrick McDonald was heavy with his last stone in the extra end which handed Great Britain their 8-7 victory.

Korea meanwhile played out a tight game against Finland, only drawing level at 5-5 after six ends.

Korea then won the game in the eighth and final end when skip Jong-Pan Kim made a draw through a port to the four foot ring to score two points and win by 7-6.

Following the conclusion of the round-robin section of the competition, the four top teams progress to the semi-finals and the medal games, which will be played on Saturday, March 15.

The winners of the semi-finals will play for the gold medals while the losers will play off for the bronze medals.

The semi-finals begin at 09:30 followed by the medal games which will be played at 15:30 (both times MSK).

RESULTS
Session 11:
Finland 6, Korea 7; Great Britain 8, USA 7 (extra end); Slovakia 0, Canada 16; Sweden 11, Norway 1. (Bye – China and Russia)

Session 12: Great Britain 3, China 6; Slovakia 4, Russia 7; Korea 3, Sweden 13; Finland 12, Canada 1. (Bye – Norway and USA)

STANDINGS
Standings after round-robin:

1. Russia 8-1 (to play Great Britain in 1v4 semi-final)
2. Canada 7-2 (to play China in 2v3 semi-final)
3. China 5-4 (to play Canada in 2v3 semi-final)
4. Great Britain 5-4 (to play Russia in 1v4 semi-final)
5. USA 4-5
6. Slovakia 4-5
7. Sweden 4-5
8. Norway 3-6
9. Korea 3-6
10. Finland 2-7

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

Website:
Results, statistics, news and photos from the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games curling competition can be seen here on the World Curling Federation’s official event website: http://www.sochi2014.worldcurling.net

WCF Social Media:
World Curling Federation Facebook: Go hit ‘like’ to keep updated: https://www.facebook.com/WorldCurlingFederation

Follow us on Twitter at @worldcurling and @WCFmedia and use the hashtags #Sochi2014; #Paralympics and #curling

Paralympic Winter Games Live Coverage:
For live coverage from the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games visit:
http://www.paralympic.org/sochi-2014/tv-guide
http://www.youtube.com/user/ParalympicSportTV

Past Paralympic Winter Games Results:
2010: Canada (gold); Korea (silver); Sweden (bronze)
2006: Canada (gold); Great Britain (silver); Sweden (bronze)

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