Japan achieve first win in Las Vegas as Norway join Sweden in first place

  • Japan secure first win Photo © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

There were two games in Monday (2 April) morning’s sixth session of round-robin play of the 361° World Men’s Curling Championship 2018 being held in Las Vegas, United States, with Japan facing Netherlands and Norway playing United States.

Japan were still looking for their first win when they came onto the ice, and in the fifth end, Japan’s fourth player Go Aoki played a draw for two points, to take a 5-2 lead into the break. Eventually the game went into an extra end and Dutch skip Jaap Van Dorp played the last stone through a tight gap in front of the house and then hit a Japanese stone but his stone rolled too far, giving Japan a steal of one point and their first win of the event, by 7-6.

The other game between United States and Norway came down to a last stone draw but the United States’ fourth player Greg Persinger rolled his shot through the house and past two Norwegian stones already counting, to give up a steal of two points, for Norway’s fourth win, by 7-5.

These results now keep Norway unbeaten and put them into joint top position alongside Sweden. Korea, having played one game less, also remain unbeaten and are in third position on the table. With six teams qualifying for the play-off slots, Canada, China and Scotland share the vital fourth place. At the other end of the table, Japan’s win leaves only Germany and Switzerland still looking for their first wins.

They said it

J. D. Lind; coach, Japan (after 7-6 win over Netherlands): “Every game the team’s gotten better. Being a first worlds experience it’s very interesting for the team, but they’re learning quickly and today they played a lot better. You could tell, they had a lead and started thinking ‘maybe we could win our first game at the world championship’ – as soon as you think that, it starts to slip away a little bit. They did a great job, especially in that extra end, of focusing and finishing off that game.”

Steffen Walstad; skip, Norway (after 7-5 win over United States): “I was kind of grumpy out there [because of early mistakes]. We didn’t capitalise on our opportunities and they played well, so I’m proud of my guys for being patient and waiting for me to make some shots. We’re pretty comfortable trying to steal, but with all these good teams the odds are not in our favour, so we just tried to give him [United States’ fourth player Greg Persinger] a tough shot at the end and hope that he misses.”

Session six results: Japan 7-6 Netherlands; Norway 7-5 United States

Standings after session six

Norway 4-0
Sweden 4-0
Korea 3-0
Canada 2-1
China 2-1
Scotland 2-1
Italy 1-2
Russia 1-2
Japan 1-3
Netherlands 1-3
United States 1-3
Germany 0-3
Switzerland 0-3

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