PyeongChang 2018 will be skip Madeleine Dupont's second Olympics Photo: © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

Denmark women secure place at 2018 Olympic Winter Games

Denmark became the final women’s team to qualify for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games when they beat Italy by 5-4 in the extra end of the last women’s qualification game at the Olympic Qualification Event 2017 taking place in Pilsen, Czech Republic.

This was an extraordinary game with Italian stones being taken off in two ends because they had been accidentally touched by their sweepers when in play.

Italy held a 2-1 lead as the teams played the seventh end, and their skip Diana Gaspari had looked to extend that lead by two more points in this end. She drew her last stone into the house thinking she had scored the two points, only to have one of her stones removed because it had been touched. Italy scored just one point taking the score to 3-1.

A similar incident happened in the next end and this time, the last Italian stone of the end was discounted and a Danish stone replaced, allowing Denmark’s skip Madeleine Dupont to draw for two points and level the game at 3-3.

After this, the game went into an extra end and, after Dupont had played a complicated double angle raise take-out to lie one point, Gaspari came up short with her final draw, to hand Denmark a 5-4 win.

The Danish team – skip Madeleine Dupont, third Denise Dupont, second Julie Hoegh and lead Mathilde Halse, supported by alternate Lina Almind Khudsen – have now made Denmark the last of the National Olympic Committees to make up the Olympic women’s curling field. The others, in qualification order, are: Canada, Switzerland, Great Britain (qualified by Scotland), United States, Sweden, hosts Korea, Japan and, from the previous qualifying game in Pilsen, China.

Russia’s women’s team have also qualified for the Olympic Winter Games through the qualification points system. Their place at the Games as clean ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’ will be decided by the International Olympic Committee.

For the Danes, sisters Madeleine and Denise Dupont both competed at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and for Denise it will be her third Games having played at Turin 2006.

The next live game, on national broadcasters and World Curling TV (note geo-blocking applies), at this event will be Denmark v Czech Republic men at 16:00, Central European Time (+1 hours, Greenwich Mean Time) on Sunday (10 December) afternoon.

They said it

Madeleine Dupont; skip, Denmark (after 5-4 extra end win over Italy to qualify for the Olympic Winter Games): “Nobody likes the situation where you have to take a rock out, but then again, it’s a competition and two times it was hit, and Italy agreed both times. Being in their shoes I can’t imagine how they feel.

“Three months ago, our institute funding was taken away, because they thought we did not have a chance, so going to the Olympics is more than we ever hoped for or dared to dream of, it’s absolutely amazing.”

Diana Gaspari; skip, Italy (after 4-5 loss to Denmark): “We are sad of course because we lost in a strange way. We burned two stones and had to put them away. It was tough for us to get back but we were able to do it. We were tough but the scoreboard would have been different without the touches. I have to thank my team, we did a big job, an unexpected job. Everybody will remember this and get experience from it, especially the young players, and we have to go on, we cannot do anything else.”

Women’s second qualification game result: Italy 4-5 Denmark

Standings after women’s second qualification game (W-L):

Q China 6-1
Q Denmark 5-2
Italy 5-3
Czech Republic 3-3
Latvia 2-4
Germany 2-4
Finland 0-6

Pilsen, Czech Republic

10 December 2017