Eight men’s teams set for 2018 Olympic Games as hosts complete round-robin undefeated

  • Scotland celebrate their Olympic Winter Games qualifying win Photo: © WCF / Richard Gray

In Thursday (6 April) evening’s last session of round-robin play in the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2017 – being held in the Northlands, Coliseum, Edmonton, Canada – the stakes were high, with Olympic Qualification Points up for grabs.

When they came onto the ice to face Russia, Scotland felt they had to win to take Great Britain’s Olympic place. This game went all the way to an extra end, and in that end, Scotland skip David Murdoch sealed his team’s 7-6 win with a draw for the one point that now qualifies Great Britain for the Olympic Winter Games.

Sweden, who had already qualified for the weekend medal games, faced Netherlands and in the eighth end their skip Niklas Edin drew his final stone into the house to score three points and win the game by 8-2.

Norway faced Canada, who have been unbeaten so far, and in the second end Norway’s skip Steffen Walstad played a double take-out to score one point and level the game at 1-1. In the third end, Canada’s skip Brad Gushue drew his final stone into the house to score four points and take a 5-1 lead. This was on the way to an 8-4 win, that means Canada have gone through the entire 11-game round-robin undefeated.

China faced Japan and in the opening end China started the game well, with skip Rui Liu drawing his second stone into the house to score three points. Japan’s skip Yusuke Morozumi played a nice double take-out in the fifth end to score two points to reduce China’s lead to 7-2. Despite this effort, China went on to win by 9-2 and finish fifth in the rankings.

Canada now play Sweden in Friday (7 April) evening’s (19.00, -6 UTC) Page 1v2 play-off game, while Switzerland will meet USA in the Page 3v4 game on Saturday (8 April) afternoon (14.00, -6 UTC). These games are live on World Curling TV or national broadcasters.

First eight men’s curling teams set for 2018 Olympic Winter Games

These results mean that Canada, Great Britain (qualified as Scotland), Japan, hosts Korea, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and USA have qualified their National Olympic Committees for the men’s curling event in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Republic of Korea. This is certain at the conclusion of the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2017 round-robin. The Games will be held from 9-25 February 2018.

This also means that China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Russia are eligible to compete in the World Curling Federation’s Olympic Qualification Event to be held in Pilsen, Czech Republic between 5 and 10 December 2017. This event will determine the last two men’s teams to qualify for the Games.

They said it

David Murdoch; skip, Scotland (after 7-6 extra end win over Russia): “We had a lot to lose so for us to show our character there was so important, that’s why I’m so proud of the guys. It was one of those games where you think you’re never going to get in front. That was about getting a job done. To be honest, I’m feeling disappointed – I don’t come to these championships not to get a medal, that’s annoying for me, that’s annoying for this team. We know we’re better than that.”

Brad Gushue; skip, Canada (after 8-4 win over Norway): “It’s a solid week, I feel like we got better as the week went on. The ice has been great, we feel good, we’re playing well. I think it’s going to be a tough battle [against Sweden in the Page 1v2], I think they’re a great team and they’ve seemed to gain some momentum as the week’s gone on. Hopefully having the hammer is going to be key for us and we can get off to a good start.”

Niklas Edin; skip, Sweden (after 8-2 win over Netherlands): “We started off this week very well. We’re feeling good going into the play-offs. We still have some elements to work on. With the added pressure of the play-offs, I think we’ll be pretty close. It’s going to be a close fight against Canada. Hopefully we can play like we did in the first half of our round-robin game against them and not mess up.”

Results after session 17: Scotland 7-6 Russia; Sweden 8-2 Netherlands; Norway 4-8 Canada; Japan 2-9 China

Standings after session 17:

Q CAN - Canada 11-0
Q SWE - Sweden 9-2
Q SUI - Switzerland 8-3
Q USA - United States 8-3
CHN - China 6-5
SCO - Scotland 6-5
JPN - Japan 5-6
NOR - Norway 5-6
ITA - Italy 4-7
GER - Germany 3-8
NED - Netherlands 1-10
RUS - Russia 0-11

Curling fans around the world will be able to follow live coverage of these championships on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

Live broadcast coverage may be geo-blocked in your region. For all broadcast information visit, www.worldcurling.org/broadcast

To keep up-to-date with all the action from the FWMCC 2017, and the teams’ journey to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags: #FWMCC2017 #Roadto2018 #curling

WCTV highlights next live game: Canada v Sweden [Page 1v2] (Friday 7 April at 19.00, -6 UTC)