The 15th and final round-robin session of the mixed curling competition at the Youth Olympic Games 2020 saw three games in Group B and one in Group D.
The only group left with a play-off spot up-for-grabs was Group B and three teams – China, Germany and Hungary – had chances to take that. A win for Germany ensured they were the successful team.
Germany now joins Canada, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Russia and hosts Switzerland in progressing to the knock-out stages.
The quarter-finals will be played at 10:00 on Wednesday (15 January). The semi-finals will then take place at 14:00 that afternoon. These times are Central European Time (CET) which is one hour ahead of Universal Coordinated Time (UTC). The quarter-final line-up is as follows:
- Canada v Japan
- Germany v New Zealand
- Russian Federation v Switzerland
- Norway v Italy
Firstly, Germany took on Hungary. Hungary stole a single point in the first end, while Germany took two points from the second end. In the following two ends, a very precise Germany managed to steal two single points. At the fourth-end break Germany were leading, 4-1.
Hungary came back from the break re-energised and managed to score three points in the fifth end, tying the game at 4-4. In the following two ends, the teams traded two-point scores and went into the eighth end tied at 6-6. At this stage, Germany had the last stone advantage. In the final end, Hungary tried to set up a steal, but their last stone came up short, meaning that Germany didn’t need to throw their last stone. Germany won 8-6.
Germany’s skip, a delighted Benny Kapp, said, “We are very excited. We played very well and we’re happy to be in the play-offs now. We felt the pressure and it was not that easy, so fortunately we played really well. We are very excited [about the play-offs] and I think we have good chances for a medal.”
On another sheet China met Denmark. The Chinese knew that they could qualify for the quarter-finals by winning this game, but relied on Germany losing, which didn’t happen. Denmark stole three points in the first two ends and forced China to a single point in the third. In the next end, China managed to steal a point and narrowed the gap between the teams to a single point. At this stage Denmark were up, 3-2.
In the second half, Denmark put on a strong performance, scoring two points and stealing four points in the fifth and sixth ends, respectively. Denmark led the game 9-3 after seven ends of play when China conceded defeat.
A pleased Denmark skip, Jonathan Vilandt, commented on the game, “It was a great win. We’re going to go to the next tournament with a great feeling so that’s good.”
The hosts, Switzerland, had a perfect record going into their last round-robin game and already had a spot in the play-offs, while their opponent, Brazil, was in search of their first win. Switzerland – playing without their regular skip Jan Iseli – pulled out a strong performance once more, scoring eight points in the first half of the game. This included a big score of five points in the fourth end. The teams went into the break with a 8-1 score on the board. After half-time, Switzerland kept their momentum, stealing two points in the fifth end and forcing Brazil to take a single point in the sixth end. With a 10-2 score after six ends Brazil shook hands. The victory meant that Switzerland ended the round-robin stage with a perfect record of five wins and no losses.
In the only Group D game, Italy played Czech Republic. Italy went into the game with an unbeaten record knowing that they had already qualified for the quarter-finals, along with Japan from this group.
Czech Republic started with three points in the first end and continued to control the game throughout. They stole two more single points in the first half of the game, leading 5-0 after four ends. The teams traded single points with the hammer in the next three ends, after which Italy eventually conceded defeat. The final score was 6-2 to Czech Republic.
Session 15 results: Hungary 6-8 Germany; Switzerland 10-2 Brazil; China 3-9 Denmark; Italy 2-6 Czech Republic
Q Switzerland 5-0
Q Germany 4-1
Q Italy 4-1
Q Japan 4-1
Czech Republic 3-2
United States 1-4