Wheelchair Curling: Slovakia, Italy, Germany and Finland Advance to Playoffs

10 Nov 2011 By IPC

Italy and Slovakia are through to the playoff stages and will be joined by Finland and Germany following a close battle in Wednesday night’s tie-breakers in the final day of the Round-Robin at the 2012 World Wheelchair Curling Championship Qualification event at the Kisakallio Sports Institute in Lohja, Finland.

Italy followed on from their strong start, beating Denmark 8-4 in the morning game, with the Czech Republic losing to the Slovaks by the same scoreline. Germany beat Switzerland 6-3 while home team Finland beat Japan 8-5.

Evening tie-breakers were forced following a competitive afternoon of curling, which saw Slovakia continue their fine run of form by beating Germany 7-5 to finish second place in the standings. Latvia will go home disappointed after ending their qualification campaign with loss to Switzerland 4-9, while in the tightest game of the afternoon, Japan narrowly edged Denmark 6-5 in an extra end.

Having only started competing at this level of international Wheelchair Curling three years ago, Slovakian Coach, Frantisek Pito?ák, is delighted with his team’s performance. He said: “It’s been a real pleasure to win all of these games but there’s still everything to play for. We’ve enjoyed this event and may the best team win!”

In the evening tie-breakers, Finland secured victory against Switzerland, 7-3, while close friends Germany beat Denmark 7-5 to make it through to the final playoffs which begin at 10:30am local time (EET) on Thursday morning (10 November).

The Qualification event in Finland will see two teams qualifying for the two remaining positions at the 2012 World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Chuncheon City, South Korea.

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.