China complete men's round-robin campaign undefeated

  • China complete round-robin undefeated © WCF / Tom Rowland

The men’s round-robin stage came to a close at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2018 being held in Gangneung, Republic of Korea and the last session saw wins for China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Kazakhstan.

China finished top of the rankings, undefeated. But it was Australia who took the lead, stealing a single point the first end, then stealing two points in the second end, as China skip, Zou Qiang came up short with his last stone, for a 3-0 lead.

China recovered from this early setback, scoring two points in the third and fifth ends, while forcing Australia to score a single point with the hammer in the fourth end. The teams went into the break with the score tied at 4-4.

China stole a single point in the sixth end, after Australia fourth, Dean Hewitt’s double take-out attempt left a China stone in scoring position.

In the eighth end China scored two points when Zou drew his last stone in to the four-foot for a 7-5 lead on their way to an 8-6 win.

Japan – having finished the round-robin in the second place in the rankings – met Hong Kong and produced a dominant performance.

In the first end, Japan got on the board with a score of three points, followed by a steal of a single point in the second end, after Japan skip, Yuta Matsumura made a perfect raise that Hong Kong skip, Jason Chang couldn’t respond to with his own raise attempt.

The turning point of the game came in the fifth end, when Japan stole six points after Chang was unsuccessful with both of his last stones. Hong Kong conceded defeat after seven ends of play, with a final score of 13-2 to Japan.

After the game, Japan vice-skip Shinya Abe said: “The goal for today was to find a good set of stones. So, I think we could do that today. During the game we practiced draw weights, obvious, and it was going well, I think. Tomorrow it’s gonna be a tough game against New Zealand, they are getting better and better. We forget about the first game.”

Elsewhere in the session, semi-finalist New Zealand met Chinese Taipei and the two teams played a tight game.

New Zealand opened the scoring with a single point in the first end. After blanking the second end, Chinese Taipei responded with a score of two points in the third end. The teams then traded single points over the next two ends.

In the sixth end Chinese Taipei stole a single point after New Zealand skip, Scott Becker was facing five Chinese Taipei counters and was slightly heavy with his last draw.

The eighth end brought a big score of three points for Chinese Taipei, which was a significant step towards their 7-4 win.

The final game in this session saw Kazakhstan defeat Qatar, 11-2 after eight ends.

The men’s competition continues with the first semi-final featuring Japan v New Zealand at 9:00 Korea Standard Time tomorrow (Friday 9 November) morning.

Results:

Session nine: Hong Kong 2-13 Japan; New Zealand 4-7 Chinese Taipei; China 8-6 Australia; Kazakhstan 11-2 Qatar.

Standings (W-L):

Chin (8-0) Q
Japan (7-1) Q
New Zealand (5-3) Q
Korea (5-3) Q
Chinese Taipei (4-4)
Hong Kong (3-5)
Australia (2-6)
Kazakhstan (2-6)
Qatar (0-8)

Q = Qualified for the semi-finals

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