Qatar men claim second ever Pacific-Asia win

Qatar's Salem Ali played fourth during this session - © WCF / Tom Rowland

Qatar men left the ice smiling on Sunday morning at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2019 in Shenzhen, China, after their game against Kazakhstan.

Qatar held on for a 7-6 win after Kazakhstan’s Abylaikhan Zhuzbay flashed his final stone in the tenth end. This win marks Qatar’s second ever Pacific-Asia win, after beating Kazakhstan once previously in 2017.

After the second men’s session, China, Korea and Chinese Taipei lead the standings with two wins and zero losses. New Zealand earned their first win against Australia, 9-3.

China is hosting this world qualifying event in Shenzhen for the first time. This is in a bid to promote curling across the country, in the lead up to the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. The men’s gold medallist will earn a place at the LGT World Men’s Curling Championship 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Perfect take-out

 A back and forth battle between last years’ champions, Japan’s Yuta Matsumura and Korea’s Chang-Min Kim saw both teams tied 5-5 after the seventh end. Japan stole one point in the eighth end to take a 6-5 advantage. Then, Korea blanked the ninth end to keep the last-stone advantage.

In the final end, Chang-Min executed a perfect take-out to eliminate the Japanese stone, in the house, and score three points. Korea won 8-6.

“We tried to concentrate on ourselves as much as we could because Japan is a strong team to play against. We tried our best,” said Chang-Min.

“The most important thing for us is to go to the 2022 Olympics. And, to get there, the first thing we should do is to go to the world championships, that’s the most important thing.”

Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2019 – © WCF / Tom Rowland

Second-half steals

New Zealand earned themselves a victory on Sunday morning against their neighbours, Australia, 9-3.

Leading 4-3 after the fifth end break, New Zealand skip, Scott Becker put the pressure on the Australia end after end, resulting in five stolen points.

We just started attacking them after half time because my team was out-curling his and if we carry that on, we should be able to put together some nice ends and we did,” said Becker.

“The team’s getting in tune with the ice and enjoy themselves. There’s a little frustration because some of the shots that should be easy are not so easy when you’re playing with tough conditions.” 

Results session three: Qatar 7-6 Kazakhstan; Chinese Taipei 10-4 Nigeria; New Zealand 9-3 Australia; China 12-7 Hong Kong; Korea 8-6 Japan

Standings after session three

China 2-0

Korea 2-0

Chinese Taipei 2-0

Japan 1-1

Kazakhstan 1-1

New Zealand 1-1

Qatar 1-1

Australia 0-2

Hong Kong 0-2

Nigeria 0-2

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Shenzhen, China

3 November 2019