“This Championship is very important for us and I can say that it of course brings extra pressure for all teams.”
The World Wheelchair Curling Championships 2016 opened on Sunday (21 February) in the Lucerne Curling Club in Lucerne, Switzerland, with one session of round-robin play and the Opening Ceremony that saw Swiss Paralympic athlete, Heinz Frei, deliver the opening stone.
With only six of the 10 teams taking part in the event scheduled to play in the opening session, there were wins for Russia, Switzerland and Norway.
Russia, holding the hammer, started their game against Germany by scoring a single point in the first end. Russia then went on a stealing streak with three points in the second end, two points in both the third and fourth ends, before stealing another four points in the fifth end effectively sealing Germany’s fate.
Germany managed to get on the board in the sixth and final end with a draw into the house for a single point, before shaking hands and ending the game with the score at 12-1 to Russia.
"We need to win a minimum three games from four to be sure that everything is going well, get to the play-offs and farther,” said Russia’s Marat Romanov. “So the first game was an important start for us. In the first end we were little bit nervous, but after that we played to our strengths and controlled the next ends.
“This Championship is very important for us and I can say that it of course brings extra pressure for all teams,” Romanov continued. “But it’s not the first experience in the World Championship and we can manage and control ourselves during hard and key moments."
Hosts Switzerland started their week off with a win by defeating Canada 7-2. Switzerland opened the scoring in the first end with two points before stealing single points in the next three ends, going into the break 5-0.
Canada responded with a score of two points after the break, before Switzerland hit back with a single point in the sixth end and a single point steal in the seventh end. Canada eventually ran out of stones in the eighth end giving Switzerland the victory.
Norway faced the USA in the final game of the opening session. Norway scored two points in the first end and that proved to be a lead they would never lose.
USA responded with a single point in the second end before Norway replied with three points in the third end, and a steal of one point in the fourth end going into the break with a lead of 6-1.
After the break, USA hit back with two points in the fifth end. But a score of four points by Norway in the sixth end further increased their lead. USA scored a single point in the seventh end to take the score to 10-4, but ran out of stones in the eighth end, giving Norway the win.
The World Wheelchair Curling Championships 2016 will continue Monday (22 February) with round-robin play and can be followed at the event website, Facebook and Twitter @worldcurling using the hashtags#curling #WWhCC2016 #Roadto2018#WWhCC2016 #Roadto2018.