PyeongChang 2018: Canada in contention as China stay top
Hosts South Korea win twice to keep pace with Chinese after day four14 Mar 2018
By World Curling and IPC
A dramatic finish to day four’s play at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games saw Canada steal an extra end, 6-5, win against USA to move into clear third place in the rankings behind South Korea and China.
Canada trailed 5-4 in the eighth end and had an opportunity with the last stone to win the game, but skip Mark Ideson’s draw was light, only scoring of one point and taking the game to an extra end.
In that extra end, Canada managed to secure two shot stones in the four-foot, protected behind several guards, when United States skip, Kirk Black, prepared to throw the game’s final stone. Black’s draw was a touch wide, tapping back one Canadian shot stone, but leaving the other in scoring position, giving Canada the single point steal and the 6-4 win.
"We felt pretty confident. It was an emotional win. I feel like the momentum shifted a few times throughout the game, and I got lucky with the shot in five, that kind of kick-started the things for us,” said Canada skip Mark Ideson.
“We seem to have a way to come back. I think we might wanna work on starting a little quicker. We’ve got to find a way to start early and keep it close and we won't have to take so many risks as the game goes on. We're getting away with some now, but when you're stealing, there's always lots of rocks in play, so we could also give up a big end. When my last rock went deep I thought it was over.”
China rebounded from their morning loss to Canada to defeat United States 6-4 in a tight game that went all the way to the final end. China held last stone advantage in the tenth end with the scores level at 4-4.
With two China shot stones in the house facing United States skip, Kirk Black, he attempted a freeze with his final stone. However, he was light with his shot giving China the score of two points and their sixth win of the competition returning them to the top of the rankings.
South Korea continued their impressive form in front of a loud and enthusiastic home crowd, beating both Finland and Switzerland, the latter a narrow 6-5 victory in the final session. Korea opened with a score of two points in the first end before the teams traded single points for the next three ends.
In the fifth end, Switzerland stole a single point, before Korea hit back with a score of three points in the sixth end to take a 6-3 lead. Switzerland scored a single point in the seventh end but were only able to steal one point in the eighth end, which ultimately wasn’t enough to level the game, giving Korea the 6-5 win that keeps them joint at the top of the table with China.
South Korea skip Soon Seok Seo said: "Last night we had our first loss against Germany, but we tried to think about it in a positive way, look at it as a medicine, and think that it was the start. Our coach told us that we need to push Finland in the first four ends, and that there will be a lot of possibilities to score multiple points. So we tried to focus on getting these scores in the beginning. Our coach also said that the Finnish can become stronger from the sixth end, so we would need to push stronger."