After the first two days of competition at the World Wheelchair Curling Qualification event, host nation Finland and Italy both remain unbeaten with 3-0 records.
The new team line-up from Italy, skipped by Paolo Ioriatti, had a resounding 12-0 win over newcomers Turkey on Sunday (4 November), and then beat Latvia, 7-2, in the evening session.
On the first day of competition, Italy rallied from a shaky start against an experienced German team, scoring five points in the sixth end to take an 8-7 lead and then went on to win 11-7.
Finland met Poland in the morning round on Sunday, and, after being tied 7-7 before the last end, the Finns scored two important points to secure a 9-7 win. In their second game of the day, Finland played against the experienced German team skipped by Jens Jäger, which had lost both of their first two games. This same German team finished fourth at the qualification event last year.
Germany started very well against Finland, but Finnish lead Tuomo Aarnikka was able to respond to Caren Totzauer’s excellent first shots and the game remained even. Going into the eighth end, the game was tied 5-5. Finland’s fourth player Markku Karjalainen succeeded with a crucial last shot to seal an important 6-5 win.
In Finland’s first round-robin game on the weekend, they recorded an 11-1 victory over Turkey, who are making their debut at the event.
The young Latvian team, skipped by Ojars Briedi,s provided the biggest surprise of Day 2 by beating Norway in a very tight game in the afternoon. Latvia won 6-5 by stealing two points in the last end. While Latvia had a strong start in their game against Italy, the game escaped from them in the fourth end when Italy took four points for a 5-1 lead.
Norway, skipped by two-time world champion Rune Lorentsen, also got off to a quick start at the tournament by beating Denmark, 12-5. The Norwegians won three of their first four matches.
Standings after Day 2
Czech Republic 3-1
The schedule of play and team lineups for the remainder of the event are available.
The event’s top two finishers will qualify for next year’s World Championships in Sochi, Russia from 16-23 February.
Russia, Korea, China, Slovakia, USA, Scotland, Canada and Sweden have already qualified for this event based on the final ranking at the 2012 event. The 2013 World Championships will be the last opportunity for nations to gather qualification points for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games.