Denmark, Japan, Netherlands and Norway victorious in the men’s fourth round-robin session at the OQE

Team Denmark © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

With joint leaders Italy sitting out the session, Norway’s 7-4 win over Germany in Monday afternoon’s fourth session of men’s round-robin play at the Olympic Qualification Event put them into pole position on the rankings.

In this session hosts Netherlands also had a win, by 7-4 over Czech Republic for them to continue their climb up the table.

After a first blank end, German skip Sixten Totzek came up short with his final draw against Norway in the second end, to hand the Norwegians an opening steal of two points.

Then, in the ninth end, with Norway leading by 5-4, Norway skip Steffen Walstad played a hit-and-stay for two points and a final score of 7-4.

This put the Norwegians into a clear lead at the top of the rankings, and Walstad said, “There are other good teams besides us, and we have yet to meet them. It’s going to be a tough rest of the week. It was good to win there. We’ve had a lot of really tough games against the Germans so we’re always a little ‘how’s this game going to turn out?’, so we’re happy with the win. I felt the tide was turning a little when he got level [after the fourth end], but luckily, we were able to keep control.”

Germany versus Norway © WCF / Céline Stucki

In the game between hosts Netherlands and Czech Republic, after blanking the first end, Dutch skip Wouter Goesgens was able to draw his last stone into position to open the scoring with three points.

In the eighth end, with the game tied at 4-4, Czech skip Lukas Klima wrecked on the way in, giving Netherlands a steal of one point and a 5-4 lead. Following two single-point steals in the ninth and tenth end, the Dutch went on to win by 7-4.

After the game, Dutch skip Goesgens said, “That was a struggle, but we stayed in the game and that was what was most important. We showed resilience and we made the last shots and made him play as well. Now we need to be a little sharper and smarter, and not take any risks.”

Denmark faced Finland in this session. In the third end, with Denmark already ahead by 2-0, Finland’s skip Kalle Kiiskinen was light with his final draw to give Denmark a steal of two more points for a 4-0 lead.

In the fifth end, Denmark were ahead by 4-2 when their skip Mikkel Krause played a draw to add two more points to their name and extend his team’s lead to 6-2.

Denmark went on to win by 9-2 in just six ends.

Speaking after this win which puts his team into third place on the table, Krause said, “We’re doing everything we can to get to Beijing. It’s a huge goal for us and has been for all of our lives, just to experience that and we’re getting closer.”

Speaking about his team’s performance, he added, “That was a huge game for us. We had to get back on track after losing to Italy and we’ve come back, playing some of our best curling. We’re hitting our stride which is really great. We’re not struggling with the ice, and we’ve been pretty lucky.”

The fourth game of the session was an all-Asian affair with Japan facing Korea.

In the second end, with the score still at 0-0, Japan’s skip Matsumura Yuta opened the scoring with a draw for one point.

By the sixth end, Japan held a 3-1 lead and a Korean hit-and-roll attempt was well swept out by the Japanese, for another single-point steal to extend their lead to 4-1. Japan eventually won the fame by 6-5.

Afterwards, Matsumura said, “We had a couple of misses and that made that seventh end a bad situation [when Korea scored three points]. We took a risk in the ninth, but it worked out.”

Men Session Four results: Germany 4-7 Norway; Netherlands 7-4 Czech Republic; Denmark 9-2 Finland; Japan 6-5 Korea

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Leeuwarden, Netherlands

13 December 2021
Olympic Qualification Event 2021