Germany and Switzerland Unbeaten at Wheelchair Curling Qualifier

07 Nov 2011 By IPC

Germany and Switzerland remain unbeaten with three wins apiece after the second day of play at the World Wheelchair Curling Qualification event at the Kisakallio Sports Institute in Lohja, Finland.

In the morning, the Germans beat Latvia, 9-5, before going on to overwhelm the Japanese, 12-0, in the afternoon session. The Swiss had wins against the Czech Republic (7-6) and Slovakia (10-6)

"We were really surprised by how strong a team Latvia was,” said German Skip Jens Jäger after that game, “we had never played against Latvia before and they are very precise and good players. I was looking forward to playing against them when I saw their name in the event schedule. It is always a great feeling when the Wheelchair Curling family grows and grows."

Latvia only began Wheelchair Curling on an international level last year.

Italy also remains unbeaten after beating Slovakia, 9-2, and then Latvia, 10-4.

Hosts Finland had their first win of the event in the morning session against Denmark – a big score - 14-1.

"It was like having a different team on the ice,” explained Finnish lead Tuomo Aarnikka after having lost to Latvia in their opening game on Saturday. “We had a great start to the game. We stole five points in the second end and after that we managed to keep the game simple for us and the opposition was the one who had to keep taking the risks."

But it was the Finns who ended up having to take the risks in the afternoon session as the Czechs fought back after their narrow loss to the Swiss and stole their way to an 8-1 win.

Japan and Denmark had byes on Sunday.

The qualification event runs until 10 November when two teams will secure the remaining two spots at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2012 in Chuncheon City, South Korea (18-25 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.