Play-off places set after the final round-robin session

  • Norway win in extra-end to take first place in Group D Photo © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

The round-robin stage at the World Mixed Curling Championship 2017 drew to a close this evening (Thursday 12 October) and saw the play-off teams finalised after a tense final session of play.

The final session was dominated by Group D teams, five of whom started the session tied for first place in the group on 4-2 records.

Czech Republic defeated Slovakia 3-1 to become the first team to qualify from Group D and finished in second place, with a 5-2 record. After the opening three ends were blanked by Slovakia the teams traded single points in the fourth and fifth ends, before Czech Republic would go onto steal single points in the sixth and seventh ends before running Slovakia out of stones in the eighth end.

Norway defeated Switzerland 6-4 in a game that went all the way to the final stone of an extra-end. Norway trailed 4-3 going into the eighth end but were only able to score a single point to level the game. In the extra-end with their final stone Norway fourth, Wilhelm Ness, played a perfect freeze on their own shot stone to force Switzerland to attempt to play the tightest of draws with their final stone. However, skip, Yannick Schwaller was a touch heavy, giving Norway a steal of two points, the win and first place in the group.

Finland defeated Israel 9-3 yet despite this loss Israel secured the third guaranteed play-off place from Group D as other results went in their favour. Finland would open the scoring with a single point in the first end followed by three single point steals to take a 4-0 lead into the break. A further score of 5 points in the sixth end by Finland effectively ended the contest, giving them the victory.

In the final Group D game, Hong Kong picked up their third win by defeating Austria 7-6. Hong Kong, trailing 6-4 after seven ends would go on to score three points in the final end for their third ever win at world level.

Also in this session, Canada defeated Germany 5-2 to finish at the top of Group E with a perfect 6-0 record.

England secured the final play-off place as the fourth placed team with the best Draw Shot Challenge score.

In the early evening session Spain and Estonia secured their places in the last 16. Spain defeated Ireland 8-0 in a game where the winner was guaranteed the third play-off place from Group C. Estonia secured their place in the last 16 after coming from behind to defeat Croatia 6-5. Estonia finished on the same win/loss record as Japan, however, their head-to-head result earlier in the week gave them the advantage.

Elsewhere in the session, Korea remained undefeated with an 11-3 win over Kazakhstan; Belarus stole 3 points in the eighth end to defeat France 7-5, and New Zealand defeated Luxembourg 7-1.

They said it

Sergio Vez; Spain skip (after 8-0 win over Ireland): "They didn’t have their best game, we know they can play better, but a win like that does give you lots of confidence going into tomorrow’s game in the play-offs. But we know it’s going to be a really tough game, we don’t know who they are yet but it doesn’t matter, it’s going to be a hard one. We’re really happy to make the play-offs. It’s the first time for Spain so we’re just going to enjoy it and if we win it’ll be really good."

Ingvild Skaga; Norway skip (after 6-4 win over Switzerland): "I’m ecstatic. That was such a great game. Our performance has been a little up and down so I’m really happy Wilhelm made that freeze. We knew we had to win this one to go through, it was intense. To win you have to beat whoever you meet so we’re just happy to be in the play-offs and we’ll see what happens."

RESULTS Session 26

Canada 5-2 Germany; Czech Republic 3-1 Slovakia; Austria 6-7 Hong Kong; Israel 3-9 Finland; Norway 6-4 Switzerland.

RESULTS Session 25

Spain 8-0 Ireland; Croatia 5-6 Estonia; Kazakkhstan 3-11 Korea; Belarus 7-5 France; Luxembourg 1-7 New Zealand.

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