At the end of an exciting last day of round-robin play in the Capital One World Women’s Curling Championship in Esbjerg, Denmark, the Page Play-off line up was not quite complete. Sweden, China and Denmark are through to the final stages of the event. Canada and Switzerland face a tiebreaker for the final spot.
With first place already secured, Sweden’s Anette Norberg was taken all the way to an extra end by the Czech Republic’s Anna Kubeskova before winning by 7-6. Later she lost by 3-8 to USA’s Patti Lank, but this did not affect her number one status in the rankings.
China’s Bingyu Wang had two good wins, beating Russia’s Anna Sidorova by 8-5 in a game that included a wonderful take-out by Wang through the narrowest of ports, before going on to secure second place in the rankings with a 7-5 win over Denmark’s Lene Nielsen.
After this game, Wang said, “it’s so exciting to win our last round robin game and qualify for the next round. I’m so happy, the team works and we’re happy with each other. We did well and we hope we can keep going”.
Still with a chance of qualifying despite their loss to China, Denmark went on to recover by taking a winner-takes-all game with Russia, winning with a strong second half performance that saw them steal two in the sixth, a single in the seventh, and then score three in the ninth for a 10-3 victory that delighted another huge home crowd. This win puts them into the Page three versus four Play-off, and afterwards, skip Nielsen said, “I’m relieved – that’s the word. We had a good game this morning but we lost, so this is just great. The girls just played fine and we had great support from the crowd. It was perfect”.
Denmark’s Page opponents are not yet determined, as, at the same time the Danes were beating Russia in their showdown, Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott defeated Norway’s Linn Githmark, by 7-4, after beating Scotland’s Anna Sloan by 9-3 in the morning session.
Canada sat out the final session, having beaten Korea by 9-2 and then Germany by 8-6 in the day’s earlier sessions, to finish on seven wins and left the arena not knowing if they had made it to the Page games or would face a tie-breaker. At the time, Canadian skip Amber Holland said, “we probably won’t be back to watch the evening game. It doesn’t matter what happens elsewhere, we’re done – we’ve done what we can do and what happens out here tonight is what happens out here tonight”.
All this meant that at the end of the round-robin, Denmark, Canada and Switzerland all finished with the same seven wins, but Denmark had the best record in games among the three of them and that is why they qualify in third place, leaving Canada and Switzerland to battle it out (Friday 14.00 local time) for the right to face them on Saturday morning.
Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott was arguably as relieved as Denmark’s Nielsen, saying, “we’re still not in the Play-offs but we still have the chance. But it’s good we’re still here and we still have the chance to keep going on”.
Defending champion Andrea Schöpp of Germany ended her reign with a last stone 6-5 win over Korea to finish off the pace on five wins, just behind USA and Russia, who both had six wins during the week.
Further down the table, Scotland finished their campaign with a 6-3 win over Norway, to stop a five game losing streak that included their 3-9 loss to Switzerland in the Thursday morning session.
Following two last-day defeats, at the hands of Scotland by 3-6, and Switzerland, Norway concluded their campaign in tenth place with three wins.
The Czech Republic and Korea ended up propping up the table, on two wins each, but the Czechs, who went down by 4-6 to USA and then 6-7 after an extra end to Sweden on Thursday, take away the warm memory of beating Scotland in their first-ever appearance at this level, while Korea had wins against both the Czech Republic and Scotland during the week.
Standings after Round-robin sessions:
1. Sweden 9-2
2. China 8-3
3. Denmark 7-4
6. Russia 6-5
7. USA 6-5
8. Germany 5-6
9. Scotland 4-7
10. Norway 3-8
11. Korea 2-9
12. Czech Republic 2-9
Session 15: China 8, Russia 5; Switzerland 9, Scotland 3; Korea 2, Canada 9; Czech Rep 4, USA 6.
Session 16: Czech Republic 6, Sweden 7 (extra end); Canada 8, Germany 6; Scotland 6, Norway 3; Denmark 5, China 7.
Session 17: Germany 6, Korea 5; Sweden 3, USA 8; Russia 3, Denmark 10; Switzerland 7, Norway 4.
Friday 25 March
14:00 local – Tie-break: Switzerland v Canada
19:00 local – Page 1v2 Playoff: Sweden v China (winner goes directly to final on Sunday)
Saturday 26 March
10:00 local – Page 3v4 Playoff: Denmark v Winner of Tie-break
15:00 local – Semi Final (loser of 1v2 Playoff v winner of 3v4 Playoff)
Sunday 27 March
10:00 local: Bronze Medal Game (loser of 3v4 playoff v loser of semi final)
15:00 local: Gold Medal Game (winner of 1v2 playoff v winner of semi final)