February 2, 2012
The Japanese junior women’s team (skipped by Sayaka Yoshimura) won gold at the 2012 Pacific-Asia Junior Curling Championships at the Hwasan Ice Rink in Jeonju, South Korea on Thursday beating Korea in the final 3-2. The Chinese junior men’s team (skipped by Xiuyue Ma) won the gold medal in the junior men’s event with a 3-2 win over Korea.
The gold medal for these teams is a double honour. Not only are they crowned 2012 Pacific-Asia Junior Curling Champions, but they also secure the World Curling Federation Pacific-Asia places at the 2012 World Junior Curling Championships which will take place in Östersund, Sweden from 3-11 March.
Five junior men’s and junior women’s teams from Australia, China, Japan, Korea and New Zealand competed in the event in Jeonju. The final standings are:
Pacific-Asia Junior Women:
1.Japan (Gold and qualification for WJCC 2012)
2. Korea – Silver
3.China – Bronze
Pacific-Asia Junior Men:
1.China (Gold and qualification for WJCC 2012)
2.Korea – Silver
3. Japan – Bronze
For Japan’s Sayaka Yoshimura and her team from Sapporo Curling Club on Hokkaido Island, it’s the second year in a row that they have won the Pacific-Asia title. They finished in 8th place at the World Juniors last year in Perth, Scotland.
For China’s Xiuyue Ma, it is also a second Pacific-Asia Gold. Ma, from Harbin Curling Club in China’s Heilongjiang province has moved up to skip from playing second on last year. For his teammates, it was their first Pacific-Asia championship appearance.
Teams that have qualified for the World Junior Curling Championships 2012:
Junior Women: Scotland (Gold 2011), Canada (Silver 2011), Russia (Bronze 2011), Sweden, USA, Switzerland, Norway, Czech Republic, Italy and Japan.
Junior Men: Sweden (Gold 2011), Switzerland (Silver 2011), Norway (Bronze 2011), Canada, Scotland, USA, Finland, Czech Republic, Italy and China