Korea men victorious at Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2019
Korea are the men’s Pacific-Asia 2019 champions after their win against Japan, 11-2, on Saturday afternoon in Shenzhen, China.
The Koreans, skipped by Chang-Min Kim, backed by third Ki Jeong Lee, second Hak Kyun Kim and lead Ki Bok Lee beat Japan 11-2 after eight ends and finish with an undefeated 11 win record.
With this win, Korea has secured their ticket at the LGT World Men’s Curling Championship 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland from 28 March-5 April.
Silver medallists, Japan, are skipped by Yuta Matsumura and rounded with third Tetsuro Shimizu, second Yasumasa Tanida, lead Kosuke Aita and alternate Shinya Abe.
First half steals
After two blanked ends, Korea’s skip Chang-Min Kim faced a cluttered house and drove a Japanese stone out of the rings to score two points and take the first lead of the game, 2-0.
Kim made a set-up shot on his last stone, without the hammer, to put pressure on Japan’s final stone in the fourth end. Then, Japan’s skip Yuta Matsumura, had no choice but to play a triple raise take-out, but slightly over-curled, giving Korea a steal of one point. Korea went up, 3-0.
Matsumura responded with a triple take-out for two points in the sixth end to give Japan a fighting chance, 5-2.
But, in the seventh end, all hope was lost when Kim eliminated the lone Japanese stone in the rings to score four point and make the score 9-2.
Korea went on to win the gold medals, 11-2 and book their ticket to Glasgow, Scotland.
“We took two points in the third end and just felt we took control of the rest of the game,” said Kim.
“We’re happy with the win and to get the spot to go into the worlds next year. Now, we’ll focus on the worlds and do our best there”
On the other hand, Japan’s Matsumura felt they couldn’t get the momentum going throughout the game. He said, “We were playing a really great team and we just couldn’t keep up or catch up so we fell behind, that’s the problem today.”
“Under some challenging conditions, we did well to have some really good games so we are happy with our results this week.”
Men’s medal results: Korea 11-2 Japan (gold); China 9-4 New Zealand (bronze)
G Korea 11-0
S Japan 9-2
B China 8-2
New Zealand 6-5
Chinese Taipei 4-4
Hong Kong 1-7