Russia faced United States in Thursday evening’s second Qualification Final of the OQE2021 with the last available place in the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 up for grabs.
In the first end, United States were facing two Russian counters when their female player Vicky Persinger played a nose-hit to open the scoring with one point.
In the second end, Russia’s Anna Sidorova missed on a tap-in attempt to give United States a steal of two and a 3-0 lead.
However, Sidorova did get her team onto the scoreboard in the third end when, facing three American counters, she successfully drew inside them to score one point and reduce United States’ lead to 3-1.
The fourth end came down to a straightforward hit-and-stay by United States’ Persinger to score one point and move their lead to 4-1 at the break.
In the fifth end, Russia’s Sidorova was once again forced to hit and stay for just one point, as the Americans remained ahead, by 4-2.
The Americans used their power play in the sixth end, but when Persinger came to play her last stone, she was facing a busy house and needed to draw for just one point. She did exactly that and extended the American lead to 5-2.
The Americans had what looked like an easy chance to clear out Russia’s stones in the seventh end, but Persinger caught a front stone with her attempted take-out, to leave two Russian stones counting and giving Sidorova a chance to draw for three points that would have levelled the game.
However, Sidorova’s draw came up short and Russia had to settle for two points and a 5-4 score-line in the Americans’ favour.
In the eighth end, Sidorova’s attempt to freeze inside an American stone with her last stone was wide and slightly heavy, to sail past its target.
This meant United States did not have to play their last stone as they scored one point from the end, won the game by 6-4, and booked the final place in the Mixed Doubles line-up at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
After the game, Vicky Persinger said, “That seventh end was not a good one for me. So, we just tried to put it aside and play the best eighth that we could. We made some shots, and now it feels great.”
Her partner Chris Plys added, “I’m sure that wasn’t the most entertaining game, we played a bit conservative. But we made shots when we had to.”
Earlier, Australia had beaten Korea to take the other available Olympic place.
Second Qualification Final result: United States 6-4 Russia
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