Denmark and Italy in the Lead at Wheelchair Curling Qualifier

09 Nov 2011 By IPC

Competition has intensified at the qualification event for the 2012 World Wheelchair Curling Championship at the Kisakallio Sports Institute in Lohja, Finland. With one day of round-robin play left, eight of the nine competing teams are still in with a chance of making the playoffs on Thursday (10 November).

After seven rounds no team remains unbeaten. Italy had a very strong start to the event with four consecutive wins, but they suffered their first loss on Wednesday morning 8-6 against Japan. After an extremely tight game, Italy narrowly edged Finland 6-5 to keep them in the lead following the afternoon draw.

The Japanese team had a slow start to the event with three losses but they have now found a fighting spirit and have won two games. In the afternoon draw, they played against Czech Republic, but narrowly lost out 5-4 in a close encounter.

Ahead of their game against the Czech’s, Kaneko Emi from the Japanese Curling Association said: “The team was feeling down after losing our first three games but all the other teams and our own technical staff have been very supportive. After two wins the team is feeling much more positive and happy now and hopefully we can continue that in our final games. We have a new team this year with two new players, both of whom bring a lot of positive energy to the group.”

There will be all to play for in Wednesday morning's session as the Danes take on table toppers Italy, the Czechs play Slovakia, Switzerland meets the Germans and Finland plays their final game of the round robin against Japan.

The Qualification event in Finland will see two teams qualifying for the two remaining positions at the 2012 World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Chuncheon City, South Korea.

The nine teams taking part in the qualification play a round-robin (each team plays each other). On Thursday 10 November, playoffs take place between the top four-ranked teams to decide the two teams that will go to South Korea next February.

Canada, Scotland, Norway, Russia, China, Korea, USA and Sweden have already qualified for this event based on the final ranking at the 2011 World Championship. The 2012 event will be the second opportunity for nations to gather qualification points for the Wheelchair Curling Competition at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia in 2014.

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