China, Finland and Hungary women into world qualification play-offs

  • Hungary’s skip Dorottya Palancsa Photos: © WCF / Clare Toia-Bailey

Finland women won a top-of-the-table clash with China by 8-6 in Monday morning’s fifth women’s round-robin session at the inaugural World Qualification Event in Naseby, New Zealand to become the first team to qualify for Wednesday’s play-offs.

The World Qualification Event is a new pathway to this season’s World Curling Championships, with places up for grabs for two women’s and two men’s teams to join the nations who have already qualified directly:

  • LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2019: Silkeborg, Denmark – 16-24 March
  • Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019: Lethbridge, Canada – 30 March-7 April

    For each gender, only three places are available in Wednesday’s play-offs, from the fields of eight teams that have been contesting the round robins. Later, in Monday evening’s session, both China and Hungary women won. They join Finland in qualifying, although the final one, two, three order will only be determined after the last women’s round-robin games on Tuesday.

    ClickResultsat the top of the page to follow live scores from the World Qualification Event 2019.

    Finland first to qualify

    Finland’s clinching victory over China by 8-6 was helped by a score of four points that took them into the fifth end break with a 6-3 lead. After that, they beat Estonia by 8-5 in their second game of the day to maintain their unbeaten record.

    Finland’s skip, Oona Kauste, said: “We are so happy to become the first team to qualify for the play-offs. [Our performance in] the European championships in Estonia was a big disappointment. We took time to decide what to do next. But, we decided to work hard for a month and come here. There is still work to do to finally qualify for the Worlds, but we are hopeful.”

    China bounced back from their morning loss with a 9-3 win over Poland. They finished that game, scoring four points in the eighth end, a result that gave them a play-off place. After this, China’s skip Jie Mei said: “We feel much better now. We’ve tried to get to know the ice and after three days of games, we’re getting better. We have confidence now that we’ve reached the play-offs. We don’t want to be happy too early because this is not the end of the tournament, we just want to play our games and win… at the right time.”

    Hungary followed up an 8-6 morning win over Brazil, with a 12-3 win over Hong Kong, which concluded with steals of two points in the seventh and eighth ends. As a result, Hungary became the third women’s team to qualify for the play-offs. Skip Dorottya Palancsa said: “It is still our dream to qualify for the Worlds. After the first two games we didn’t play our best, so they became exciting, close games. Now we still have to develop ourselves for the play-offs and for sure we have more to come.”

    Elsewhere in the evening games, Brazil beat New Zealand by 8-6 for their third win overall. Hosts New Zealand are still seeking their first win.

    Pictured below, England v Brazil men on Monday

    England and Korea men sharing top place

    The men only had one round-robin session on Wednesday and wins for England and Korea kept these two teams in joint top spot. Though these teams are unbeaten after five games each, no men’s teams have yet sealed a qualification slot.

    Korea came out strongly against Australia building an 8-0 lead after four ends, on their way to an eventual 9-0 win after six ends.

    Already 5-2 up after six ends against Brazil, England scored four points in the seventh end and then stole three points in the eighth end to win by 12-2. After the game, England skip Andrew Reed said: “Considering we went to the Europeans in Estonia with a mindset not to be relegated to the C-Division, this is all a bit surreal. I’m not going to lie, we’re not beautiful, we’re not great, so we’re just sticking in there and doing our best, and here we are at 5-0. This is near enough a fairy-tale, a dream coming true and we’ve still got a lot to play for.”

    New Zealand lie in third place behind the joint leaders, on four wins and one loss, after an 8-2 win over Denmark. After this game, their skip Scott Becker said: “That’s probably one of the best games we’ve played to date and hopefully we can continue that. If you come out as one of the top two teams from this, you’ve certainly earned your place at the Worlds.”

    Turning to the impact this event is having on New Zealand curling, Becker added: “To have eight men’s teams and eight women’s teams here is absolutely superb. The coverage that we’ve had for the sport has been fantastic.”

    In the extra end of the fourth game of this session, Netherlands’ fourth player Wouter Goesgens, could not remove a Polish counter sitting in the four-foot ring to give up a steal of one and hand Poland their second win so far. This result means that Netherlands are still strongly in the play-off hunt, fourth on the table. There are three play-off spots available.

    Results and Standings


    Session 5: Estonia 15-5 Poland; Finland 8-6 China; New Zealand 7-8 Hong Kong; Hungary 8-6 Brazil

    Session 6: Hungary 12-3 Hong Kong; New Zealand 6-8 Brazil; Poland 3-9 China; Finland 8-5 Estonia

    Q Finland 6-0
    Q China 5-1
    Q Hungary 5-1
    Brazil 3-3
    Estonia 2-4
    Hong Kong 2-4
    Poland 1-5
    New Zealand 0-6


    Session 5: Australia 0-9 Korea; Poland 6-5 Netherlands; England 12-2 Brazil; Denmark 2-8 New Zealand

    England 5-0
    Korea 5-0
    New Zealand 4-1
    Netherlands 3-2
    Poland 2-3
    Denmark 1-4
    Australia 0-5
    Brazil 0-5

    ClickResultsat the top of the page to follow live scores from the World Qualification Event 2019.

    To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media during the World Qualification Event 2019 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@WorldCurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #WQE019 #curling