PyeongChang 2018: China win first Winter Paralympic gold

Silver for Norway is also their first wheelchair curling medal 17 Mar 2018 By World Curling

China made history in Saturday (17 March) evening’s Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 gold medal final in the Gangneung Curling Centre, when they defeated Norway 6-5 after an extra end to claim China’s first ever Paralympic Winter Games medals.

Norway’s silver was their first Paralympic wheelchair curling medal.

China – skipped by Haitao Wang, with third Jianxin Chen, second Wei Liu, lead Meng Wang and supported by alternate Qiang Zhang and coach Qingshuang Yue - opened the scoring with two points in the first end.

In the second end, Norway – skipped by Rune Lorentsen, with third Jostein Stordahl, second Ole Fredrik Syversen, lead Sissel Loechen and supported by alternate Rikke Ivesen and coach Peter Dahlman – scored a single point when Lorentsen tried to blank the end but his shooter stopped on the edge of the 12-foot.

The third end saw a rare mistake from Wang, when with his final stone caught a Norway stone, sending it into the four-foot for a steal of two points and give Norway the 3-2 lead. Wang levelled the scores in the fourth end with a hit for one point.

The second half remained tense, with Norway blanking the fifth end before Lorentsen was forced to hit for a single point in the sixth end.

The seventh end saw another error by Wang, this one not so costly. Already sitting two shot stones, Wang was heavy with his final draw, only scoring two points and taking a 5-4 lead going into the eighth end.

In the eighth end, Lorentsen was again forced to hit for one point to take the game to an extra end and give up their last stone advantage.

In the extra end, China third player, Chen, with his final stone, played a precise draw around six guards to sit in the four-foot as shot stone. Lorentsen was unable to remove the stone with either of his two attempts giving China the 6-5 victory and crowning them Paralympic wheelchair curling champions.

China skip Wang said: "We just cheered each other on throughout the game and I tried to do my best. Maybe that's the reason why we could get the gold medal. China, my country is very important for me, so listening to the national anthem was a very special moment. It's the first medal of a Chinese team in the Paralympic Games, and I think it is pretty big. We are very excited."

"It feels very good," said Rune Lorentsen, Norway skip.

"I feel we made a good effort out there and they had to use nine ends to beat us. We had our opportunities, some shots that we missed. Laying two, we could have gone for three.

“You cannot compare it to the world's gold, this is something else. There's just one place that's higher, the gold medal. You can't win any more than the Paralympic, that's the best tournament we have every fourth year.

“If I'm healthy and my wife lets me, I might go for that gold. But at least I'm going to the next worlds, that's for sure. Then we have to see forward."