Sweden’s Anette Norberg qualified for Sunday’s final of the Capital One World Women’s Curling Championship in Esbjerg, Denmark by beating China’s Bingyu Wang by 7-6 in what was a tight Page one versus two Play-off game on Friday evening.
Throughout the first half of the game, both teams took turns in forcing the other to take single scores, but the first break-through came in the sixth, when an uncharacteristic delivery offence by Norberg saw her last stone removed, leaving China with a steal of two points.
In the seventh end, following a perfect freeze shot by Norberg, China could only remove two of four Swedish counters, leaving Norberg a draw for three and a 5-4 lead. Wang’s last stone in the eighth end rolled out, handing Sweden a steal of one and a 6-4 lead, but in the ninth China levelled when, after good stone separation early in the end, Wang had a nose hit to score two and level the game.
Eventually, Norberg had a draw to within the eight foot ring for the single point that gave her a 7-6 victory.
This result books a place in the final for Sweden, who therefore are now guaranteed at least silver medals, while China have a second chance to get there, as they now go onto the semi-final to face the winner of Saturday morning’s Page three versus four Play-off game between hosts Denmark and Canada.
After the game, two-time world champion Norberg said, “the girls were just amazing today. I struggled a bit in the beginning, but they played really great curling today. Now we’re in the final, we’re going for the gold”.
She also explained the sixth end delivery offence, “I forgot to turn the stone around, because we changed the way we were going to play. I forgot to turn it around”.
She added, “we made some good draws in the seventh and they missed and we had a three and that got us back into the game again. We felt in control after that, but the teams were still very even”.
Hard on herself as ever, she said, “yes, we are winning, but I’m not really satisfied with how I’ve been playing this week”.
Chinese skip Bingyu Wang agreed with Norberg that the seventh end was key. She said, “it was a tough game. We lost one end and that was key to losing the game. We were not concentrating on the ice and we made a lot of mistakes in the seventh end. We tried to get back but it was a little bit too late. So now we face the semi final and I hope we can play better and play smart. This experience will make us grow”.
Standings after Playoff 1v2
1. Sweden 10-2
2. China 8-4
3. Denmark 7-4
4. Canada 8-4
5. Switzerland 7-5
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
Playoff 1v2: Sweden 7, China 6.
Saturday 26 March
10:00 local – Page 3v4 Playoff: Denmark v Canada
15:00 local – Semi Final (China 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 (Sweden v winner of semi final)
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