After winning the top two spots in the recent qualification tournament in Lohja, Finland, both China and Russia are now qualified to compete at the 2011 World Wheelchair Curling Championships.
On the final day of play at the World Wheelchair Curling Qualification event at the Kisakallio Sports Institute, China beat Italy 10:4 to win the first spot. Russia, after beating Japan 9:6, went on the beat Italy 6:4, for the second berth.
The game between Russia and Italy went down to the wire, with Italy tying up the score at 4:4 in the eighth end and forcing an extra end. The last Italian stone was too heavy and went through the house giving Russia two points for a win and a place at the World Championships next February in Prague, Czech Republic.
“It was a really hard game,” said Russian coach Efim Zhidelev afterwards, “I think Italy played very well. We all made mistakes. I believe the Italians were more concentrated than us but we had to keep going to win.”
The Italians in their game got off to a lucky start against China, stealing one in the first end. But the Chinese came back and scored a whopping 7 in the second end and Egidio Marchese’s team struggled from then on to get back into the game. Chinese Skip Haitao Wang said he and his team were extremely nervous going into the game against the Italians. He said they were a very good team but they were delighted to be heading to the World Championships in Prague.
Rankings after round robin & play-offs (Wins-Losses):
1. CHN 8-1 (Qualification for WWhCC 2011)
2. RUS 8-2 (Qualification for WWhCC 2011)
3. ITA 7-3
4. JPN 5-4
5. SUI 4-4
6. SVK 3-5
7. DEN 2-6
8. FIN 2-6
9. LAT 0-8
The World Wheelchair Curling Championships 2011 take place in Prague, Czech Republic at the Curling Hall Roztyly from 22 February to 1 March 2011.
Teams that have already qualified for the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2011 include: Canada, Sweden, Germany, USA, Scotland, Korea, Norway & Czech Republic as host nation.