Norway and Switzerland progress at World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2016

After five days of competition, the hosts Switzerland remain undefeated in Lucerne. 26 Feb 2016
Wheelchair curler on the ice with team in the background
ⒸWCF / Andy Ng 2016
By World Curling Federation

The World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2016 being held at the Lucerne Curling Club, in Lucerne, Switzerland, continued with two more sessions of round-robin play in the fifth day of competition (25 February) where two of the play-off spots were filled by Norway and undefeated hosts, Switzerland.

Both Norway and hosts, Switzerland, qualified for the play-offs after the morning session of play where Switzerland defeated South Korea by a score of 7-2. Switzerland went into the break in this game with a lead of 4-1, which was one they would not relinquish.

Norway despite losing a close game to Russia claimed the second available play-off spot. With both teams aiming to keep the house clean and avoid any mistakes, Norway blanked the first four ends of the game.

Russia stole a single point in the fifth end when Norway failed on several attempts to clear a Russian stone from the house. In the next end Norway would level the score when their skip, Rune Lorentsen, opted to take the single point with his last stone with the house sitting empty. Russia then scored two points in the seventh end and held on for the 3-1 win.

In the other games of the session Finland recorded their first win of the tournament by defeating Slovakia 8-5 and Germany defeated China 7-4.

Speaking after the win against Slovakia, Finland’s skip Markku Karjalainen said: "There was a couple of tactical mistakes in the game but it went pretty much according to our plan.

“It was important to get a score in the fifth end, whether it was two, three or four. The four was a luxury. We knew that we could come hunting from behind but definitely the four was a nice score to get us going.

“I think for the players the win was a good thing for our self-confidence. It makes our next two games must win games, so it’s important to keep going. It’s going to make it interesting in the last couple of games."

In the afternoon session Finland made it two wins from two games for the day when they defeated Canada 10-2.

Finland took a 4-2 lead into the break, then from the fifth end the took complete control of the game scoring a single in that end before stealing one in the sixth, then a final four points in the seventh to seal their win.

Switzerland faced Russia in a closely fought game that went to an extra end after Switzerland recovered a three point deficit with two ends remaining.

In the extra end they would go on to steal three points after several excellent draws into the house to win 9-6.

This win keeps their undefeated streak alive and means that Russia must wait to see if they can claim one of the remaining play-off spots.

In the other games of the session both South Korea and USA picked up wins to keep their play-off hopes alive. USA defeated Slovakia 10-3 while Korea overcame China 8-5.

The medal matches will be held Sunday (28 February). The World Wheelchair Curling Championships 2016 and can be followed at the event website, Facebook and Twitter @worldcurling using the hashtags #curling #WWhCC2016 #Roadto2018 #WWhCC2016 #Roadto2018.