Japan steal victory over Korea to top men's ranking

  • Second Tetsuro Shimizu delivers a stone during Japan's win Photo: WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

With an extra-end single-point steal, Japan beat Korea in Thursday (12 November) afternoon's final men's round robin session of the Pacific Asia Curling Championships 2015 in the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace in Almaty, Kazakhstan, to top the rankings as they move onto Friday afternoon's semi-finals.

After eight ends, Japan were 5-7 down but they scored in the last two regulation ends to tie at 7-7. After this, Japan skip Yusake Morozumi came in off a wing stone, and when Korea's Soo Hyuk Kim could not get inside that stone, Japan scored the one point needed for the 8-7 win.

Meanwhile, China beat Kazakhstan by 13-3 and this meant that Japan, Korea and China all finished the round robin on the same won six, lost one record. Among these three, Japan had the best draw shot challenge score to take first place, while China and Korea now face each other in the other semi-final.

While these games were going on New Zealand beat Hong Kong by 20-2, while Chinese Taipei were 9-5 winners over Australia. This meant that Australia, Chinese Taipei and New Zealand all shared fourth place on three wins. Because they had the poorest Draw Shot Challenge (DSC), Chinese Taipei were eliminated, and Australia and New Zealand now play a tie-breaker, tomorrow (13 November) morning, to determine fourth place.

They Said It:

Kosuka Morozumi; lead, Japan (after 8-7 extra end win over Korea):

“We're happy about that. We played good and now we're first in the rankings which is good for us because we have hammer. In the tenth end we just did our best and got a bit lucky, but in the 11th our weight-call was good and also our line-call was really good.”

Peter de Boer; skip New Zealand (after 20-2 win over Hong Kong and a Chinese Taipei defeat of Australia that puts New Zealand into a tie-breaker):

"I think we deserved that favour – we've lost three games – one on an extra end and two last rocks in the tenth. We could have won any of those three games, so I feel like we've been unlucky. We've competed well and now we just need to get some consistency and close the game out. Hopefully we can get one back on the Aussies.”

With one round robin session on Friday morning remaining, the women's contest is also complicated. This afternoon, China beat Korea by 8-7, while Japan were 7-3 winners over New Zealand. This completed Korea's round robin programme while China and Japan are both in action on Friday.

Although all three are qualified, their ranking is not yet certain and will probably depend on the results of the DSC. It also seems increasingly probable that Kazakhstan and New Zealand will be involved in a tie-breaker for the fourth semi-final slot.

They Said It:

Satsuki Fujisawa; skip, Japan (after 7-3 win over New Zealand):

"At the start of the week we were nervous about the ice, but we're more confident now, and that makes a big difference to our play".

RESULTS, Session 9:

MEN

Hong Kong 2-20 New Zealand; Korea 7-8 Japan; Kazakhstan 3-13 China; Chinese Taipei 9-5 Australia.

WOMEN

China 8-7 Korea; New Zealand 3-7 Japan.

STANDINGS after 9 Session (W - L):

MEN

Japan 6-1: qualified
China 6-1: qualified
Korea 6-1: qualified
New Zealand 3-4: tie-breaker
Australia 3-4: tie-breaker
Chinese Taipei 3-4
Kazakhstan 1-6
Hong Kong 0-7

WOMEN

Korea 6-2: qualified
China 5-2: qualified
Japan 5-2: qualified
Kazakhstan 1-6
New Zealand 1-6