Despite losing their final round-robin game by 4-6 to Canada’s Trish Paulsen, Eve Muirhead and her Scotland team still finished top of the rankings at the World Junior Curling Championships in Perth, Scotland, on seven wins and two losses, ahead of Russia’s Anna Sidorova on the same 7-2 record, because of the Scots’ 6-4 win over the Russians earlier on Thursday. These top two teams now face each other again in Saturday morning’s Page 1 v 2 Play-off.
Paulsen’s victory over Scotland – her second back-to-the-wall win of the day, after she beat USA’s Rebecca Hamilton by 8-2 in the morning – gave her five wins. It also placed Canada in a four-way tie-break situation, along with USA, Switzerland (who had skip Manuela Siegrist absent for their final game, which they won by 9-4 over Japan) and defending champions Sweden, who went down to 4-8 to Kristine Davanger’s Norway, after also losing to Switzerland earlier by 4-6.
After the game against Scotland, Paulsen said, “We played great today and I’m sure we’re going to keep that going in the tie-break. We put some solid games together and executed very well. We came out on top and that’s what we had to do”.
The USA beat the Czech Republic by 7-6 in their final round-robin game to reach five wins, and these four teams now line-up in two sudden-death play-offs - USA v Canada and Switzerland v Sweden – to determine the Page 3 v 4 line-up.
After her victory over the Czechs, USA skip Hamilton said, “this is my first time skipping at a world event. I think my team has backed me up pretty well and given me some shots I can make. It works well when the team meshes well. All the teams tied with us are strong, so we’re going to have a tough game”.
France finally got a win on the scoreboard on Thursday morning, after a week of struggling, by beating Japan’s Sayaka Yoshimura by 10-9, thanks to an outstanding final shot by skip Anna Li that gave them three points in the tenth end for their win.
Afterwards, Li said, “I’m still recovering from my nervousness but I’m overjoyed. I’m really pleased to have made that shot. We are delighted to have at least one win in this championship. It’s phenomenal”. However after that, they lost their final game by 1-8 to Russia.
Scotland, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, and the Czech Republic are guaranteed spots at the 2012 World Junior Championships women’s event which it was announced on Thursday will be stage in Östersund, Sweden from 3-11 March .
The winner of the Canada-USA tiebreaker on Friday secures a place and the loser may have to face a regional challenge. The winner of the 2012 Pacific juniors will secure the World Curling Federation’s Pacific region spot and France is relegated to the European Junior Curling Challenge in January 2012 where the final European place will be decided.
Women’s Standings after Round Robin:
= USA 5-4
= Switzerland 5-4
= Sweden 5-4
= Canada 5-4
7. Norway 4-5
8. Japan 3-6
9. Czech Republic 3-6
10. France 1-8.
Round 8: Canada 8, USA 2; Japan 9, France 10; Sweden 4, Switzerland 6; Russia 4, Scotland 7; Norway 5, Czech Republic 7.
Round 9: Japan 4, Switzerland 9; USA 7, Czech Republic 6; Scotland 4, Canada 6; Norway 8, Sweden 4; Russia 8, France 1.
(1 v 2) Scotland v Russia (winner to final, loser to semi-final)
3 v 4): Tie-break 1 winner (Switzerland or Sweden) v Tie-break 2 winner (USA or Canada) (winner to semi-final, loser to bronze medal game)
Event website: http://www.wjcc2011.com
Event Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wjcc2011
Results are mirrored on the WCF results database: http://results.worldcurling.org/default.aspx
Live webcast: http://www.worldcurling.org/wjcc-2011-web-coverage