Norway have navigated through a high-pressure round-robin session to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games 2020 mixed curling quarter-finals.
In Group C, on Tuesday (14 January) afternoon, there were three possible teams that could qualify – Norway, Great Britain and Slovenia.
Norway were up against France. The French, who had only won their first game on Monday (13 January), were mounting pressure on Norway throughout the game. In the last end Norway had a one-point advantage, 7-6, after fourth player Grunde Buraas, secured a point from the seventh end.
In the eighth end, France had the hammer advantage. France’s skip Leo Tuaz looked for an opportunity to score at least one point, for an extra end. However, he couldn’t navigate his last stone into position, to level the score or win. Knocking his own stone out of the busy house Norway had created, Norway stole four points from the end to win 11-6.
Norway’s skip Lukas Hoestmaelingen, reflecting on the game, said, “We played really well in the last end. We were a bit unlucky in the middle, but we won and qualified, which is super amazing.
“I believe [in the last end] we played better knowing we had to win and the pressure that came with that.”
Great Britain, did as much as they could to put themselves in a position to qualify for the play-offs. They beat New Zealand 9-7. The teams were tied, 7-7, going into the eighth end, but Great Britain stole two points for the victory. This occurred when New Zealand’s skip Hunter Walker came up short with his final draw. In the end, Great Britain had to rely on Slovenia and Norway not winning, which didn’t happen.
With Norway and Great Britain both finishing with won three, lost two records (3-2), the qualification-tie was broken by their head-to-head result. Norway had won that, 8-3, on Sunday (12 January).
Slovenia were beaten by Turkey in this 14th session of round-robin play. Throughout the game the teams traded single point scores, before a decisive one point steal by Turkey, in the seventh end, confirmed the victory.
In the final game of the session, Sweden and United States met. Neither team could qualify, with Italy and Japan already having secured the two play-off places from Group D on Monday.
However, there was still the plaudits to play for. It was Sweden who won the game. They achieved this with two two-point steals, in the third and fourth ends, en route to an 8-3 victory.
Session 14 results: Great Britain 9-7 New Zealand; Norway 11-6 France; Slovenia 2-4 Turkey; Sweden 8-3 United States of America
Q New Zealand 4-1
Q Norway 3-2
Great Britain 3-2
Q Italy 4-0
Q Japan 4-1
Czech Republic 2-2
United States 1-4