Japan defeat hosts Canada to climb to first place in Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s rankings

  • Japan skip, Yuta Matsumura © WCF / Michael Burns

Japan beat Canada by 9-3 in just six ends of Wednesday morning’s 12th round-robin session of the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019 in Lethbridge, Canada for their seventh win so far, a result that sees them replace the Canadians at the top of the rankings.

In the other games of this session, Netherlands beat China by 10-5; Scotland had an 8-4 win over Norway; and United States were 8-3 winners over Italy.

Japan started strongly against Canada when, in the first end, their skip Yuta Matsumura drew his stone into the house to open the scoring with two points.

Then in the third end, Matsumura played a double take-out at the top of the house to remove both Canadian stones, leaving his own collection there to score five points and take a 7-1 lead. Canada then conceded after the sixth end with the score at 9-3 to Japan.

Japan now have seven wins and one loss and, for the moment, are the only team to have played eight games as they lead the rankings. After this win, a pleased skip Matsumura said, “We feel great! This win means a lot to us. Today everybody on the team played really well, we are just more than happy.”

Japan’s lead Shinya Abe added, “I think the key was that we took the hammer in the first end and then we took a deuce, and that gave us control of the game.”

China and Netherlands faced each other in this session and, in the second end of the game, Netherlands’ fourth player Wouter Goesgens played a hit on a China stone in the house to score three points and take a 3-1 lead.

Then, in the sixth end, Goesgens played a raise take-out to score two more points for Netherlands to move onto a 7-3 lead on the way to their 10-5 victory.

Afterwards, Netherlands’ skip Jaap Van Dorp said, “We’ve struggled in earlier games, but I think we all put in a good performance there and played solid. They made a couple of mistakes early and then we made some good shots to get a lot of points, so we were up. It gets easier when you can just hit, so we played it out well and got a nice win.”

Against Norway, Scotland were already 5-3 up in the sixth end when their skip Bruce Mouat drew his second stone into the four-foot ring to score two more points and extend his team’s lead to 7-3. After this, Scotland went on to win by 8-4.

United States faced Italy in the fourth game of this session and, in the third end, their skip John Shuster played a hit and roll, onto the button, to score one point and restore his team’s lead, at 2-1.

United States stayed in control after this, scoring three points in the sixth end and two points in the eighth end, after which Italy conceded, with a final score of 8-3.

After this win their skip Shuster said, “We were putting draws in good positions the whole game and really controlling shooters and hits. When you place draws in good spots, you get those opportunities.”

With Japan in top spot, three teams – Canada, Switzerland and Sweden share second place, with United Sates in fifth.

Behind these teams, Italy and Scotland share the crucial sixth qualifying slot. Korea, who sat out this session, remain the only win-less team.

Results: China 5-10 Netherlands; Scotland 8-4 Norway; United States 8-3 Italy; Canada 3-9 Japan.

Current Standings (W-L):

Japan 7-1
Canada 6-1
Switzerland 6-1
Sweden 6-1
United States 5-2
Italy 4-3
Scotland 4-3
Netherlands 3-4
Russia 2-5
China 1-6
Germany 1-6
Norway 1-6
Korea 0-7

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Live coverage of these championships will be available via the World Curling Federation’s broadcast partners: Eurosport (Europe-wide), TSN and RDS (Canada), NBCSports (United States), NHK (Japan), CCTV5 (China), SBS (Korea), SRF/RTS/RSI (Switzerland), Viasat (Denmark, Norway, Finland), Polsat (Poland), SVT (Sweden), Match TV (Russia), La Chaine Equipe (France), BBC Online (United Kingdom). Coverage will also be available, subject to geo-blocking restrictions, on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube Channels: www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

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