Japan reach Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2018 men’s gold medal game

  • Japan win to play for gold medals © WCF /Tom Rowland

Japan became the first side to reach the gold medal final of the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2018 men’s competition and qualify for the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019 in Lethbridge, Canada after defeating New Zealand, 8-3 in the 2v3 semi-final.

New Zealand will now compete for the bronze medals on Saturday (10 November) morning and have also qualified for the inaugural World Qualification Event (WQE) taking place in Naseby, New Zealand in January 2019.

The inaugural WQE event is co-hosted between New Zealand and Australia and represents the final opportunity for two teams to qualify for the world men’s and women’s championships.

The remaining men’s semi-final between China and Korea will take place this evening at 19:00. The men’s semi-final winners will compete tomorrow for the gold medals at 16:30, while the bronze medal game will be played tomorrow morning at 08:30.

All times are Korea Standard Time (KST)

In Friday morning’s semi-final Japan opened the scoring when skip, Yuta Matsumura already sitting one shot stone, drew his last stone into the eight-foot ring to score two points.

In the second end, New Zealand skip, Scott Becker was forced to draw his last stone into the eight-foot ring to score the single point and close the score to 1-2. Then, in the third end, Matsumura missed an open take-out when trying to blank the end, to give up a steal of one point and level the scores, at 2-2.

After scoring a single point in the fourth end, Japan forced a steal of two points in the fifth end and one point in the sixth end for a 6-2 lead.

Then in the seventh end, Becker attempted a difficult in-off take-out to remove a Japanese counter from the button. His attempt clipped the Japan shot stone, but couldn’t move it enough, giving up the single point steal and increasing Japan’s lead to 7-2.

In the eighth end, Becker was left attempting another difficult double take-out, this time he was able to remove one of the Japan counters to score one point and reduce the deficit to 3-7.

In the ninth end, Matsumura was left with an open draw for a single point, the 8-3 win and a place in the gold medal final.

Afterwards, Japan skip, Yuta Matsumura said, "I got a good support from my teammates and this was a great game. We came here for a ticket for the worlds and we are really looking forward to it."

Result:

Men’s semi-final: Japan 8-3 New Zealand.

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