Historic first international win for Kazakhstan men

  • Vice-skip Abylaikhan Zhuzbay helps Kazakhstan to a historic victory Photo: WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

Kazakhstan beat Hong Kong in Wednesday's (11 November) late round-robin session at the Pacific Asia Curling Championships, being staged in the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

This was a historic first men's win for the hosts, to sit alongside their women's victory on Tuesday (10 November).

The final score in this game was 16-2 and in the same session, Korea beat China by 8-6 to remain unbeaten and top the rankings with five wins – a result that guarantees them a place in Friday's semi-finals.

Also in this men's session, Japan beat Australia by 9-3 to share second place with China, while New Zealand beat Chinese Taipei by 7-5.

With two games left to play, Australia, New Zealand and Chinese Taipei are in joint fourth place on the rankings, all on two wins from five games and all still with ambitions to reach the semi-finals.

They Said It:

Viktor Kim; skip Kazakhstan (after historic first win, 16-2 over Hong Kong):

"We've been playing in tournaments for four or five years and I said to John [Li] from Hong Kong 'this is just your first year and there are no miracles'. That means we're happy but we're sorry for him, but we were supposed to win that.

“This win is historic. We don't have the chance to practise and if we could practise, believe me, we could fight with all the rest, we'd be ready to fight harder. We very much like having this tournament in this country."

Peter de Boer; skip, New Zealand (after 7-5 win over Chinese Taipei):

"That was a very important win. We played terrific for the first three or four ends and then we made it really tough for ourselves. I played a shocker in the ninth but we got a wee bit lucky when they gave us a shot in the tenth. We're just delighted to win – we needed to win. Two more wins tomorrow and we're still in business."

In the two women's games in this session, Korea beat New Zealand by 13-5 in a game that was closer than the score suggests, with Korea only sealing victory with a score of four points in the ninth end. Meanwhile China beat Kazakhstan by 13-1.

These results mean that table-topping Korea, Japan – currently in second place, and third-placed China have all qualified for the semi-finals, leaving New Zealand and Kazakhstan to battle it out for the fourth and final slot in that line-up.

They Said It:

Sijia Liu; skip China (after 13-1 win over Kazakhstan):

"We're in the play-offs now, so our first target is achieved. Now my plan is to play my own rocks and ask my team-mates to play as a whole team and play well, one-by-one."

RESULTS, Session 7:

MEN

Korea 8-6 China; Chinese Taipei 5-7 New Zealand; Hong Kong 2-16 Kazakhstan; Australia 3-9 Japan.

WOMEN

Kazakhstan 1-13 China; New Zealand 5-13 Korea.

STANDINGS after 7 Session (W - L):

MEN

Korea 5-0
China 4-1
Japan 4-1
Australia 2-3
Chinese Taipei 2-3
New Zealand 2-3
Kazakhstan 1-4
Hong Kong 0-5

WOMEN

Korea 5-1
Japan 4-1
China 4-2
Kazakhstan 1-5
New Zealand 0-5