China won their first game of the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2019 on Saturday (2 November) with a 12-4 win over Hong Kong.
This win, meant China’s women’s and men’s teams both won on the opening day of their home event, in Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center.
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.
Japan, Chinese Taipei and Australia also had victories, in this session.
China with perfect start
China were always in front in their game, against Hong Kong. They opened their scoring account with two points in the first end and followed that up with a steal for one in the second end.
Though Hong Kong responded with two points in the third end, after that China took control. They enhanced their score tally with three points in the fifth end and four points – handed to them when Hong Kong’s skip, Ling-Yue Hung’s last stone collided with a guard – in the eighth end. Hong Kong conceded at this stage, with the final score being 12-4.
China’s second player, Xindi Jiang, said: “I really enjoy teaming up with these girls and everyone in the team is so positive and inspiring. The ice was frosted, but I think it’s fair because we’re competing on the same sheet. We were just focusing on our own game and tried our best to make good shots.”
Steals to win
Japan, were up against the defending champion nation, Korea, in their game. Japan won in a close encounter, which was secured through a one point steal, in the tenth end.
Discussing the final draw to the button after the game, Japan’s skip Seina Nakajim, said: Basically, I was really nervous about her [fourth player Ikue Kitazawa’s] last draw and just hoped everything was going really well for us.”
Like Japan, Chinese Taipei’s win also came down to a one point steal in the tenth end. However, the final score was higher, 12-11. At the fifth end break Chinese Taipei were 4-9 behind their opponents, Kazakhstan. But, an open draw to the house, in the sixth end, by their skip Heidi Lin, saw them level the scores at 9-9. The teams then exchanged two points ends, before Chinese Taipei stole in the final end for the win.
Skip, Lin, credited communication as the key to her team’s victory. She said, “We sort of got used to the ice in the first half of the game. We knew it’s very frosted and we just kept adjusting and communicating well.”
In the last game of the session Australia beat Qatar 12-3. The team made the win certain by stealing two points in each of the third, seventh and ninth ends, after which Qatar conceded the game.
Results session one: Japan 6-5 Korea; China 12-4 Hong Kong; Kazakhstan 11-12 Chinese Taipei; Australia 12-3 Qatar
Standings after session one
Chinese Taipei 1-0
Hong Kong 0-1