Sweden’s double Olympic champion Anette Norberg won both of her games at the Capital One World Women’s Curling Championship in Esbjerg, Denmark on Tuesday to maintain her position at the top of the rankings.
In the morning session, Sweden brought a temporary halt to the hosts’ campaign, beating Denmark’s Lene Nielsen by 8-3 in just seven ends, before going on to beat defending champion Andrea Scheopp of Germany by 7-5 in their afternoon game.
These results put Sweden clear at the top of the table on six wins from seven starts, while the afternoon defeat of Germany puts severe pressure on the holders’ ambitions of retaining their title.
After the Germany game, Norberg said, “we didn’t play the game we would like to play there, but that was really my first good game”.
Norberg had to deliver a perfect draw to win with her last stone, and she said, “the sweepers handled the last draw very well” and speaking about her new-look young team, she added, “we have a good mixture in the team and it works well. Actually, they take care of me, I don’t take care of them”.
The Danes recovered from the morning defeat by Sweden to beat Norway’s Linn Githmark by 8-3 in front of a packed house in their afternoon game. Afterwards, skip Lene Nielsen said, “we got our team back together after our loss this morning and it’s really great to have done this”.
She added, “the home support is great. People are yelling and clapping when we do something good...or even bad”.
Norway had earlier lost to Germany by 3-7 to slip down the rankings, with three wins and four losses.
Switzerland moved into a clear second place, with five wins, after beating Russia by 9-7 and then China by 7-6 after an extra end. After the China game, a relieved Swiss skip Mirjam Ott said, “we had a bad start but fought back very well. We still have four very hard games against Sweden, Canada, Scotland and Norway, so it’s important to go game for game and get one win after another, but the field is very strong”.
Russia, with Anna Sidorova skipping and original skip Liudmila Privivkova on the bench, recovered from their loss to Switzerland by beating Scotland’s Anna Sloan, stealing two in the tenth when Sloan’s draw came up short. After this game, Sidorova said, “it was a really difficult game for us because before this game we had two very sad losses and it was difficult to keep strong and keep trying to win”,
Meanwhile, Scottish skip Sloan, who had earlier lost by 2-8 to China, said, “it’s just one of those things that we have to move on from, and get two wins tomorrow. But that’s a sore one”.
Korea finally put a win on the scoreboard when, in their evening basement battle against Anna Kubeskova’s Czech Republic, they won by 11-2, sealing their victory with a three in the ninth end. Earlier they had lost to Patti Lank’s USA by 6-8, while the Czechs had lost 7-4 to Canada’s Amber Holland. A celebrating skip Mi-Sung Shin said, “I’m very happy, we are now getting better, our game is picking up. After the first games we didn’t feel too good. But we are enjoying being here”.
Canada went on to beat USA by 9-6 in a North American show-down, with skip Holland saying, “all wins are important this week, so it was key for us to come out today and get a couple of wins on the board to make sure we’re staying where we need to in the standings”. About the same game frustrated USA coach Neil Harrison said, “basically, we're just struggling with execution”.
Standings after 11 sessions:
Czech Republic 2-5
Session 9: Canada 7, Czech Rep 4; Norway 3, Germany 7; Scotland 2, China 8; Sweden 8, Denmark 3.
Session 10: Norway 3, Denmark 8; USA 8, Korea 6; Germany 5, Sweden 7; Russia 7, Switzerland 9.
Session 11: Korea 11, Czech Rep 2; USA 6, Canada 9; Scotland 6, Russia 8; China 6, Switzerland 7 (extra end).
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