Vital victories for Japan and United States

  • Japan win their third game of the championship Photo © WCF / Richard Gray

Two teams at the top of the table – leaders Sweden and joint second-placed Canada – continued with wins in Thursday afternoon’s 16th round-robin session of the 361° World Men’s Curling Championship in Las Vegas, United States, while Japan and United States had vital victories as they strive to avoid last place on the table.

Sweden beat Russia by 7-3 to record their ninth win, while for Canada their 7-4 victory over China was their eighth win. Japan beat Germany by 8-3 and United States were 5-3 winners over Italy. Netherlands, Norway, Korea, Scotland, and Switzerland all sat out this session.

In the ninth end of the game between Olympic silver medallists Sweden and Russia, Sweden’s skip Niklas Edin played a draw into the house to score two points. Russia then conceded with the final score at 7-3 to Sweden.

The turning point of the game between Canada and China came in the eighth end when, with the score tied at 4-4, Canada’s skip Brad Gushue played a hit on a China stone to score three points and take a 7-4 lead. Canada then went on to win by 7-4 by running China out of stones.

In the sixth end of the game between Japan and Germany, Japan’s fourth player Go Aoki drew his stone into the house to score three points for a 6-2 lead. Japan then went on to win by 8-3.

Italy played United States in this session and, in the tenth end, Italy’s fourth player Amos Mosaner failed on an angle raise take-out attempt, giving United States a single-point steal and a 5-3 win.

With Sweden, Canada and Scotland already qualified for the weekend’s Play-offs, Norway sit in fourth place while Russia and Switzerland are tied in fifth.

The new qualification system for next year’s world men’s and women’s championships means that the team that finishes last this year loses a guaranteed qualification slot for the Zone of which they are a member – the American, European and Asia-Pacific zones – and would have to take part in a new qualification event. Currently, Germany are in thirteenth place with just one win, while China, Italy and Japan are tied for tenth above them, each on three wins.

They said it

Ryotaro Shukuya; second, Japan (after 8-3 win over Germany): "This is our first world championship, so this event has been a difficult change for us. We are so tired, but we had a good game there. For our next game we want to get into a better place and we want to win. That was probably the best game of the week so far."

Greg Persinger: fourth, United States (after 5-3 win over Italy): "It’s nice to get a win. I feel like I’ve been playing good most of the week. I haven’t done the maths on play-off possibilities, but we’ve just got to keep playing the way it is."

Brad Gushue; skip, Canada (after 7-4 win over China): "I thought we played pretty good. We had some ends set up that we let slip, but overall it was good. A win’s a win, which is the main thing."

Results from session 16: Germany 3-8 Japan; Italy 3-5 United States; Canada 7-4 China; Sweden 7-3 Russia

Standings after session 16:

Q Sweden 9-1
Q Canada 8-1
Q Scotland 8-1
Norway 6-4
Russia 5-4
Switzerland 5-4
Korea 5-5
Netherlands 3-6
United States 3-6
China 3-7
Italy 3-7
Japan 3-7
Germany 1-9

Q = Qualified for the play-offs

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