Japan celebrate their semi-final win at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2019 - © WCF / Tom Rowland

Japan women advance to second straight gold medal game

Last years’ silver medallists, Japan, will have a another chance to claim gold, at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2019, after their semi-final win over Hong Kong.

With this 15-2 win, the Japanese team – skipped by Seina Nakajima, fourth Ikue Kitazawa, third Chiaki Matsumura and lead Hasumi Ishigooka – qualified Japan for the World Women’s Curling Championship 2020 in Prince George, Canada, from 14-22 March 2020.

The gold medal game will be played on Saturday (9 November) at 11:00 (China Standard Time, which is eight hours ahead of Universal Coordinated Time) against the winner of the second women’s semi-final, featuring the hosts, China, against Korea. This semi-final will be on Friday (8 November) at 09:00.

These games will be live on World Curling TV and national broadcasters.

Semi-final action at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2019 – © WCF / Tom Rowland

Run away steals

In the first end of this game, Japan’s fourth thrower, Ikue Kitazawa drew for three points to take an early 3-0 lead.

Next, Hong Kong’s third, Ada Shang, placed her last stone perfectly hidden on the button to set up for their next shot. Then skip, Ling-Yue Hung played an incredible long tap back and roll to the button for their second point to make the score 3-2.

Hong Kong and Japan in the semi-final at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2019 – © WCF / Tom Rowland

When Japan attempted a run-back in the third end, but missed, this gave Hong Kong a steal of two points. At this stage they took a 4-3 lead.

In the fourth end, Kitazawa threw the perfect weight and line for a precise tap back to score three points and take a 6-4 advantage. After that, Japan stole three ends in a row, before Hong Kong hit for one point in the eighth end and ended the game, 12-5, in Japan’s favour.

“We’re very happy to have a place in the worlds, that’s a big thing for us but our goal here is to win the gold medal, so we’ll do our best in the final,” said Seina Nakajima.

“We’re proud to win that place for Japan in the worlds, so now we’ll work hard to be the team that represents Japan there. Now we feel like we’re on the rising way so we just hope we can keep that going into the gold medal game.”

Results semi-final one: Hong Kong 5-12 Japan

Standings after semi-final one

Q Japan 7-1

Q Korea 6-1

Q China 6-1

Q Hong Kong 3-5

Chinese Taipei 3-4

Australia 2-5

Kazakhstan 2-5

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Shenzhen, China

7 November 2019