Japan women top standings with an undefeated record after three sessions at the OQE

Team Japan © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

Japan moved into a clear lead at the top of the table in Sunday afternoon’s third women’s round-robin session of the Olympic Qualification Event, by beating Czech Republic.

Japan made the first breakthrough in their game against Czech Republic, with a steal of one in the fourth end for a 2-1 lead.

However, in the fifth end Czech skip Anna Kubeskova drew her final stone inside two Japanese stones already in the house to score one point and level the game at 2-2. Japan then had another breakthrough in the seventh end with a draw by skip Fujisawa Satsuki that scored two points and produced a 4-2 lead.

With single-point steals in the eighth and ninth end, Japan then went on to win by 6-2.

Afterwards, Fujisawa said, “The ice was really tough, that was why we needed to be patient. But we had a good chance to get two points in the seventh end, and we did it. I think we did a good job in this end.”

Korea were also winners in this session, defeating Germany. In the third end, with Korea ahead by 2-0, Germany skip Daniela Jentsch played a promote take-out for two points to level the game at 2-2.

In the next end, Korea’s Kim Eun-Jung played a take-out of a Germany stone to score three points and move onto a 5-2 lead. Despite giving up a steal of three in the seventh end, Korea went on to win by 10-8 to go into a share of second place.

After this game, Korea’s coach Peter Gallant said, “That was a very important win – every win is important, and it seems like every team is playing very tough on this ice and there’s so many good shots being made. You can see by the scoreboard – there are twos and threes being scored, a lot of the time through great hit-and-rolls.”

He continued, “We’re really happy to get that win. We’re not in a rhythm yet though. We play some really good ends, and then some ends that aren’t as good as we’d like. Overall, we’re staying focussed and playing our hardest, hopefully we can get better each game.”

Latvia joined Korea in second place with an 8-6 win over Estonia.

By the seventh end, Estonia held a 5-4 lead, but in the seventh, Estonia’s fourth player Kerli Laidsalu was short with her final draw to give Latvia a steal of two and a 6-5 lead.

In the eighth, Latvia had another steal – this time for one point and a 7-5 lead – when Estonia missed a take-out. Latvia went on to win by 8-6.

Afterwards, Latvian skip Santa Blumberga-Berzina said, “Sometimes this is fun, sometimes it’s stressful. This wasn’t our best performance, but I would say luck was with us today. We gave up two bad steals, but it was because of our own bad rocks. This game wasn’t as good as yesterday, so there are still some things we need to put in the right place. Hopefully, this roller-coaster will help us.”

Team Latvia © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

Newly-crowned European champions Scotland faced Turkey in this session.

After four ends, Turkey held a 3-2 lead. In the fifth end, Scotland skip Eve Muirhead completely missed her angles on an attempted come-in off a winger, to give up a steal of one and let Turkey build their lead to 4-2.

In the sixth end, Muirhead suffered again, this time her promote attempt just rolled through the house to give Turkey a steal of two points for a 6-2 lead.

Turkey went on to win by 7-3 to join the group of four teams with two wins and one loss, in joint second place on the rankings.

Later Turkey skip Dilsat Yildiz said, “That’s a second win and we’re happy. Our concentration was the difference in this match, and we want to continue that – of course we want that Olympic qualification, so we will try to continue.”

Women Session Three results: Germany 8-10 Korea; Japan 6-2 Czech Republic; Latvia 8-6 Estonia; Turkey 7-3 Scotland

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Leeuwarden, Netherlands

12 December 2021
Olympic Qualification Event 2021