March 17, 2012
After the first day of round-robin play at the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2012, the Czech Republic top the rankings with two wins and no losses.
Canada, Germany, Scotland and Switzerland also were unbeaten at the end of day one, but they have only played once, while, because of the way that the draw has worked out, only Italy are on two losses.
In their afternoon game, the Czech Republic opened with a steal of two points and then another single steal against Korea, and used this advantage to stay ahead and eventually record a fairly easy 6-3 win. They then topped that start in their evening game, stealing three points in the first end to again keep themselves well ahead of Italy, winning by 8-5.
After their opening win, Czech skip Linda Klimova said, “we are all very excited about these Championships - it was our first match and I think my team did a good job. The ice is a little bit faster than our club back home, but we were training at a local club and our coach has been doing all he can to prepare us for faster ice, so we had some opportunity to get used to the conditions”.
Korea later made amends for their opening loss when skip Ji-Sun Kim knocked out a sole Swedish stone in the tenth end of their evening game, to score three for a 9-8 win and kick-start some major celebrations among the Korean supporters in the crowd.
After her victory, a smiling Kim said, “I don’t know how to explain my feelings but I feel very excited. This morning we did not play good, we were upset after losing, but tonight’s win gives us a lot of confidence. This morning I was feeling very nervous, now I feel very good. I want a medal but it will be very difficult”.
Sweden, the only other team to play twice on opening day, had earlier beaten Italy by 9-3 and after this game, Swedish skip Margaretha Sigfridsson, said: “it was very good to win this game, we played really smooth. But you have to be a little bit humble to the conditions at first until you get used to the ice and the weight, but the ice is really, really good, and I think we will see some really good curling this week”.
Hosts Canada had to wait until the evening session for skip Heather Nedohin and her unit to make their international debut together, against USA. This game was tight all the way and the lead changed hands three times before USA skip Allison Pottinger was heavy with her final draw in the eighth end to hand Canada a steal of three which set up their 8-7 victory.
Afterwards, Nedohin said, “we were just so excited to get to the ice and we’re just thrilled to be playing. This has been a dream of ours since we’ve been little girls. All our family and friends are here – that’s why my heart is pounding”.
Germany have had to re-cast their team due to a pre-event injury to veteran skip Andrea Schöpp, with Melanie Robillard stepping in. They opened with a 6-3 win over Denmark, and a relieved Robillard said, “I’m really glad we won that. It’s pretty stressful. I’ve been trying to keep calm, but I was really nervous during that game”.
Speaking about the late changes for the team she added, “we have a tough situation, so there’s no point in looking at big goals that the team can’t achieve. We’re targeting game by game”.
The afternoon game between Russia and Scotland was pretty evenly-matched. The Scots looked like they had control when they stole two shots in the eighth end for a 7-4 lead. But when Scottish skip Eve Muirhead’s attempted double in the ninth jammed, Russian skip Anna Sidorova had an open draw for three to level at 7-7. After this, the Scots played a sensible tenth end which seemed to be won when Muirhead froze onto a Russian stone just on the button and Sidorova could not better it with her last. But the Russians did not concede, hoping for a Scottish error. Sensibly, Muirhead threw her last through and did not disturb the position in the house. After that, the Russians finally shook hands.
Afterwards, Muirhead said, “we wanted to come out and play well from the start, and I think we did that”. Speaking about the ninth end, she said, “that was just one of those ends – we were 100% apart from one stone. We were lucky we were three up going into that end”.
Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott saw off China in the fourth game of the evening session, moving ahead with a score of two points in the fourth end and then stealing a further two in the fifth for a 5-1 half-time lead. Although China skip Bingyu Wang scored two points in the sixth end, the Chinese were unable to muster a real comeback and eventually went down by 7-5.
Afterwards, Ott said, “that was a good start to build on – you don’t have to be 100% in the first game, but we always had control, and we’re very confident and very pleased”.
Team standings after 2 Draws
Czech Republic 2-0
World Curling TV (WCTV), the television arm of the World Curling Federation, will provide extensive live and video-on-demand coverage to broadcasters outside of Canada. WCF Broadcast Partners for the 2012 World Championships include Eurosport (Eurosport, Eurosport 2 and Eurosport Player) in Europe, CCTV-5 in China, Universal Sports Network in the USA and SporTV in Brazil. In Canada, TSN (RDS in Quebec) will carry all Team Canada games throughout the round robin, followed by the playoffs and medal games.
The broadcast schedule for this event is available here:
News, live scores and more can been seen on the event website: http://www.curling.ca/championships/worlds/ With additional coverage and galleries available on the WCF website: http://www.worldcurling.org/ford-world-womens-curling-championship-2012
Twitter hashtag for the event: #wwcc2012
The World Women’s Curling Championships 2013 will take place in Riga, Latvia, from 16-24 March. More info: http://www.wwcc2013.curlingevents.com/