Norway and Switzerland reach World Junior semi-finals

  • Switzerland claim the last semi-final place © WCF / Richard Gray

Norway and Switzerland join Canada and Scotland in the World Junior Curling Championships 2019 in Liverpool, Canada after Friday morning’s final men’s round-robin session.

With an 11-5 win over United States, Scotland navigated the round-robin without defeat and now go into the semi-finals in top spot.

After this game, which featured a score of four points by the Scots in the second end and then five points in the fourth end, Scotland skip Ross Whyte said, “staying undefeated gives us great confidence going into the semi-final,” and asked if there is extra pressure in playing in the medal games, he added, “it’s just two more games of curling”.

The Scots now go on to face fourth-placed Switzerland who beat Germany by 6-5 in their last round-robin game after an extra end. Following this win Switzerland skip Marco Hoesli said, “we’re proud to reach the play-offs at our first World Championships, now we’ll try our best to win it and a medal.”

Defending champions Canada had a 12-1 win over New Zealand, to finish second overall on the table.

Canada opened with a score of three points in the first end and stayed in control throughout; scoring five points in the fourth end and four points in the sixth end, after which New Zealand conceded.

After the game, skip Tyler Tardi said, “you just want to finish off the round-robin with a win, especially if you’re going to be playing in the play-offs later that day. It was a good performance and we’re really happy about how we’re going into the play-offs.”

He added, “every team that makes the play-offs deserves to be there, we’re happy to be there and whoever we play we’re just going to give it our all.”

Canada now face Norway in the semi-final.

Norway’s secured their place in the semi-finals with a 10-7 victory over Sweden. Sweden led 4-3 at the halfway mark in this game, but a score of four points in the sixth end turned the tide for the Norwegians.

After the game, Norway skip Magnus Ramsfjell said, “that was a bit of a rough game. We stumbled into some tough situations and missed some shots that we shouldn’t miss. But we really got control in the second half, and that was just a better feeling overall.”

Looking forward to his team’s semi-final against Canada, he said, “reaching the semi-final is the first step, but not the last. There’s a home crowd but I don’t mind who they are cheering for, I like the excitement.”

In the fifth game of this session, China beat Italy by 8-6. After this final game of the event for his team, China skip Weihaoping Wang said, “this is our first time competing at this level and we feel great in learning experiences here, whatever the outcome. We’ve learned a lot from the competition, which will definitely help us achieving more in the future.”

Now, table-toppers Scotland face fourth-placed Switzerland in one semi-final, while defending champions Canada, second on the rankings, play third-placed Norway in the other semi-final.

Behind them, United States finished fifth overall while New Zealand, on their debut at this level, finished in the crucial sixth spot. These two nations now join the four-semi-finalists in qualifying direct for next year’s Championships.

Germany finished seventh, Sweden ranked eighth, China were ninth and Italy finished tenth.

Results and standings:

Session nine: China 8-6 Italy; Germany 5-6 Switzerland; Canada 12-1 New Zealand; United States 5-11 Scotland; Norway 10-7 Sweden.

Standings after session nine (W-L):

Q Scotland 9-0
Q Canada 7-2
Q Norway 6-3
Q Switzerland 6-3
United States 5-4
New Zealand 4-5
Germany 3-6
Sweden 2-7
China 2-7
Italy 1-8

Q = Qualified for the semi-finals

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