Czech Republic and Italy women pick up first wins at the OQE

Team Czech Republic © WCF / Céline Stucki

Italy beat Estonia by 6-2 while Czech Republic were 10-4 winners over Germany as both these teams recorded their first wins in Monday morning’s fourth session of women’s round-robin play at the Olympic Qualification Event.

Meanwhile Korea and Latvia also had wins, to share joint second spot on the rankings behind Japan, who sat out this session.

In the game between Italy and Estonia, the teams were level at 1-1 when they played the fourth end.

In that end Estonia’s fourth player Kerli Laidsalu misjudged a take-out to give Italy a steal of two points and a 3-1 lead.

Unfortunately, there was a repeat in the sixth end when another misjudgement by Laidsalu gave Italy another steal of two points as they took a 6-1 lead.

Italy went on to win by 6-2, with Estonia conceding after eight ends.

Afterwards, Italy’s skip Stefania Constantini said, “We needed that win after the two first losses. We had a bye day, and we gathered the team and we talked about ourselves and today we came onto the ice feeling very strong with the will to win. We played a very good first half and then we kept the gap, so we managed it well, I think. I hope this is the start, we are trying hard to get to the play-offs, it’s possible.”

The game between Czech Republic and Germany had a major turning point in the fourth end.

Germany led by 2-1 at this point but Czech skip Anna Kubeskova bumped up one of her stones into position to score five points from the end and take a 6-2 lead.

In the fifth end, Germany’s skip Daniela Jentsch came up short with her final draw to give the Czechs a steal of three points and a 9-2 lead.

This put the game beyond the Germans and the Czechs eventually won by 10-4.

Speaking after this first win, Kubeskova said, “It feels great to get a win. We’ve been a little frustrated. We’ve had some good games but didn’t win. We really needed that one to feel confident again and to feel that we can still beat the good teams here. If we play like this, if we play as well as we did in this game, I think we have a very good chance to beat some of them.”

Korea were against European champions Scotland.

After a blank first end, Scotland skip Eve Muirhead came up short with her final draw of the second end to let Korea open the scoring with a steal of three points.

In the sixth end, Korea led by 4-1 when Muirhead drew her final stone right onto the button to score two points and reduce Korea’s lead to 4-3.

But the Scots could not get back onto terms after this and Korea went on to win by 8-4.

After this win, Korea skip Kim Eun-Jung said, “Scotland are a good team, so we just focussed on the ice. We knew we had to be patient.”

She added, “I’m just concentrating on reading the ice and keeping our mood high, and our condition good.”

Scotland versus Korea © WCF / Céline Stucki

Latvia faced Turkey in the fourth game of this session, with both teams positioned well in the rankings.

Latvia had built a 4-1 lead when the teams played the fourth end, and Turkey skip Dilsat Yildiz played a hit-and-roll to score three points and level the game at 4-4.

The game stayed tight after this until finally, in the tenth end, Latvia’s fourth player Evelina Barone just managed to hit out a Turkey stone at the back of the house and score the one point that gave her team the 8-7 win. This victory puts Latvia into joint second place on the table with Korea, on three wins and one loss.

Later Latvia skip Santa Blumberga-Berzina said, “It feels really good. We enjoyed that, it was a lot better than yesterday, so that’s good… That’s progress. And… the game was won!”

Women Session Four results: Turkey 7-8 Latvia; Scotland 4-8 Korea; Czech Republic 10-4 Germany; Estonia 2-6 Italy

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Leeuwarden, Netherlands

13 December 2021
Olympic Qualification Event 2021