“This is the best match that Norway and Sweden have had against each other.”
Sweden produced two nail-biting wins on Tuesday (19 February) at the World Wheelchair Curling Championships in Sochi, Russia.
Both games, against Norway and then against Korea, went to extra ends, which Sweden won 10-8 and 7-6, respectively.
“This is the best match that Norway and Sweden have had against each other,” admitted Norwegian skip Rune Lorentsen.
“I thought we had tightened the screws on them when we got four in the sixth end, then we missed a guard in the seventh end and so they got four.”
Swedish Skip Jalle Jungnell explained from his side: “In the sixth end we messed up. But in the seventh end, we made all eight stones perfect so we took a four. It is pretty nerve-wracking this kind of game because you can’t miss a shot.”
The Koreans, meanwhile, still looking for a win at the event, changed their lineup mid-game to have third Seong-Won Jung throwing last stones and Haksung Kim still skipping but as third. It was a change that looked to have paid off as Korea managed to get on the scoreboard. They tied the game at 6-6 and forced an extra end, but Jungnell produced a perfect takeout of a partly hidden Korean stone to win.
Canada had the USA trailing in their game and emerged with a 7-1 win to remain undefeated. By the afternoon the Americans started to cruise against Slovakia and won the game 9-1. Only 12 months ago, the same Slovak team ended the US’s chances of reaching the final stages of the 2012 World Championship in a tiebeaker.
Monika Kunkelova from team Slovakia translating for her skip Radoslav Duris said the team was feeling the pressure more this year after their fourth place finish in last year’s World Championships. The Slovaks lost their morning game against Russia, 10-2, and are now tied with Norway with a 1-4 mark.
The Norwegians suffered another defeat in the afternoon against Finland. With Markku Karjalainen still skipping, the Finns forced the steal in the eighth end to win 6-5 and further improve their chances of returning to Sochi in 2014 for the Paralympic Winter Games.
China got a second win on the board beating Scotland, 6-4.
Following the round robin stages, playoff games will begin on Friday (22 February), with the bronze and gold-medal games schedule for Saturday.
Qualification points for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will be awarded at the end of the Championships.
Standings after eight round robin sessions
1. Canada 6-0
2. Sweden 4-1
2. USA 4-1
3. Finland 3-3
4. Russia 3-3
4. Scotland 3-3
7. China 2-3
8. Norway 1-4
9. Slovakia 1-4
10. Korea 0-5