OQE 2013: Day 1 Late Round-up
December 10, 2013
Tuesday evening saw the Women's Teams in round-robin action for the first time at the World Curling Federation's Olympic Qualification Event in Fuessen, Germany.
Seven women’s teams are competing for the two final places in the line-up for the curling competition at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, to join the eight nations that have already qualified directly.
With Japan sitting out the session, Italy faced Latvia and it was the Latvians who took the early advantage when their skip Iveta Stasa-Sarsune scored two points in the third end to earn a 4-1 lead.
After trailing for most of the game, Italy skip Veronica Zappone brought her team right back into contention in the eighth end when she had an open hit to score three points and level the score at 6-6.
However, Latvia went back into the lead in the ninth end, when their skip Iveta Stasa-Sarsune drew for two points and an 8-6 lead. After this Latvia went on to win by 8-7.
Latvia's vice-skip Ieva Krusta was full of praise for her Italian opponents afterwards, saying: "This Italian team is looking quite good and taking into account how young they are and that this is their first year competing at this level I think they have a bright future ahead of them."
She continued: "The key moment of the game was the two points we scored in the ninth as this made the final end somewhat easier."
Norway were up against the Czech Republic and in the third end Czech skip Anna Kubeskova hit to score two points and take a 4-1 lead.
In the fifth end, Norway's skip Marianne Roervik scored two points to reduce the Czech lead to 5-3. Try as they might, the Norwegians could not find a way to get back on terms and Kubeskova scored another two points in the seventh end, when she drew into the house to take a 7-4 lead on her way to an 8-6 victory.
After her win, Czech Republic skip Anna Kubeskova said: “It is always important to win the first game because you get that (winning) feeling. Hopefully we'll continue with some more wins. I think all the games will be tough here because all of our opponents are very good, so we will always have to be at our best to win the games. This event does feel different because we, as a team, haven’t ever had this opportunity to get to the Olympics before."
In the third game of this session, Germany faced China. The Chinese built up an early lead before skip Andrea Schoepp put the first German point on the scoreboard in the fourth end, scoring one point to make the score 4-1 to China.
China's skip Bingyu Wang put her team in a stronger position when she drew nicely into the house in the fifth end to score one point for a 5-1 lead. However, Germany came right back into the game in the next end when skip Schoepp tapped-out a Chinese stone to score three points and reduce China's lead to 5-4.
Germany scored two points in the eighth end to level the score at 6-6 but, having blanked the ninth end to keep last stone advantage, China scored the one point needed in the tenth end for an opening 7-6 win.
Afterwards, Wang said: "We are focused on this event and then going to the Olympic Games and playing well. We really want to go to the Olympics again, in the last few years we didn't play very well at the Worlds, but we want to have a good finish to this season. This is the last chance, so it's important."
Women Session 1: Italy 7, Latvia 8; Norway 6, Czech Republic 8; Germany 6, China 7; Japan - bye.
Women’s Standings after session 1:
1. China 1-0
1. Czech Republic 1-0
1. Latvia 1-0
4. Japan 0-0
5. Germany 0-1
5. Italy 0-1
5. Norway 0-1
Extensive televised coverage of the Olympic Qualification 2013 from Fuessen can be seen by viewers in Japan on NHK’s channel and digital media platforms. All Chinese games will be televised by China’s CCTV sport. Live coverage will also be available via the internet on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel World Curling TV. www.youtube.com/user/WorldCurlingTV
Event website: www.sochi2014.curlingevents.com/oqe for further information, schedules of play, full team line ups and results and more information about the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Event Facebook: www.facebook.com/worldcurlingfederation
Twitter Hashtags: #oqe2013 #curling
NOTE: The eight men's and women's nations already qualified for Sochi 2014 are (in ranking order): www.sochi2014.curlingevents.com/olympics/olympic-qualification
Men: Canada, Sweden, Great Britain (Scotland's world championship points are used for qualification purposes), Norway, Denmark, China, Switzerland, and Russia (as host).
Women: Sweden, Switzerland, Great Britain (Scotland's world championship points are used for qualification purposes), Canada, USA, Denmark, Korea and Russia (as host).