United States and Russia collect first wins at the Youth Olympic Games
Day two at the Youth Olympic Games concluded with the sixth session Saturday night (11 January) at the Champery Curling Arena. Russia and United States picked up their first wins of the event, while Italy and Japan won their second game in a row.
The only game of this group saw Russia and Korea play each other. After an emotional loss to Canada in their previous game, Russia came out strong and put pressure on Korea.
“After the Canada game we got a little bit angry and we became tougher,” said Russian skip Valeriia Denisenko.
Russia scored two points in the first end and stole another point in the second end to take an early 3-0 lead. Then Korea scored two points in the third end, which turned out to be their only score of the game. Russia put six more points on the scoreboard in the next three ends, which led to their 9-2 victory after six ends of play.
Speaking about their performance against Korea, she added, “We knew that Korea is a really strong nation so we were aware of their strength. We knew what we should do against them – yes they are a good nation – but today this team made mistakes and we caught them on that.”
This group had three match-ups in the session. In one, Japan took on Czech Republic. In the fourth end, after a couple of take-out misses from Czech Republic, Japan scored four and went to the break with a four-point lead, 5-1. Japan then stole three points in two ends, and came victorious after seven ends of play. The final score was Japan winning by 8-1.
In another game of the session, Sweden was seeking their first victory of the competition, facing Italy. The teams went into the fourth end break tied 3-3, but Italy came back from the break more focused. After scoring a single point in the fifth end, they stole three points in the following two ends, and ran Sweden out of stones. The final score was 7-3 for Italy.
In the last game of the session, United States pulled out a strong performance against Latvia. They controlled the game from start to finish, and after scoring a single point in the first end, stole the next five ends. They led the game 7-0 after six ends, when Latvia conceded defeat.
United States vice-skip, Kaitlin Murphy was very pleased after their game and said, “It feels awesome! I feel like we played so good. We struggled with communication yesterday but today we were all in high spirits and communicated very well so I think that was a big part of why we won. Keeping my skip Ethan happy is my number one job out here and I love it honestly.”
Session six results:
Japan 8-1 Czech Republic; Sweden 3-7 Italy; United States 7-0 Latvia; Russia 9-2 Korea
Republic of Korea 1-1
Russian Federation 1-1
Czech Republic 1-1
United States 1-1