Czech Republic men secure third place in the rankings at the OQE

Team Czech Republic © WCF / Céline Stucki

Denmark played Czech Republic in Thursday evening’s ninth and final session of men’s round-robin play at the Olympic Qualification Event, in the only game that would influence the final play-off placings – the winner would finish third on the rankings to face second-placed Italy in the first Qualification Final, while the loser would be fourth, to face the loser of that first Qualification Final for the last available Olympic slot.

Overall round-robin leaders Norway sat this session out, safe in the knowing that they had already gained the direct route to the Beijing Olympic Winter Games 2022.

Denmark blanked the first two ends against the Czechs and opened the scoring with one point in the third end.

In the fourth end, Czech skip Lukas Klima played a precise draw to score three points and take a 3-1 lead.

Not to be outdone, in the next end, Denmark’s skip Mikkel Krause produced his own draw to score three points and re-establish his team’s lead at 4-3 after five ends of play.

The Czechs dominated the second half of the game, scoring in the sixth, seventh and eight ends to eventually emerge as 7-5 winners when Klima picked out a Danish stone near the button to score one point in the tenth end.

This means that the Czechs now face Italy in Friday afternoon’s first men’s Qualification Final.

After this game, a pleased Klima said, “Right now, I feel great. Obviously, our goal coming into this tournament was to finish as high as possible. We wanted to secure a play-off spot at least and being in the two/three game is good, so right now, I’m really happy. Now we’re focussed on Italy, and I hope we bring our ‘A’ game to that.”

Elsewhere in this session, second-placed Italy continued their winning ways against Germany.

Normal third player Marc Muskatewitz was playing fourth stones for the Germans in this game and, in the first end he opened the scoring with a single point.

In the second end Italy’s skip Joel Retornaz also scored one point with a draw to level the score at 1-1.

After this, Italy dominated the game, scoring four points in each of the sixth and eighth ends to win by 11-4.

Korea played Netherlands in this session. In the third end, with the score tied at 1-1, Korean skip Kim Chang-Min attempted a triple take-out but failed, to give the Dutch team a steal of one point and a 2-1 lead.

Netherlands went on to win by 8-3, stealing two points in the fourth end and scoring three points in the eighth end to finish the game off.

In the fourth game of the session Finland played Japan. In the fourth end, with the score tied at 1-1, Finland’s skip Kalle Kiiskinen played a draw to score two points and take a 3-1 lead.

After six ends, Finland led by 4-2. In the seventh end, Japan’s skip Matsumura Yuta failed with a run-back attempt to give Finland a steal of three points for a 7-2 lead, on the way to their 8-2 victory.

Men Session Nine results: Korea 3-8 Netherlands; Japan 2-8 Finland; Germany 4-11 Italy; Denmark 5-7 Czech Republic

Engage with the World Curling Federation during the Olympic Qualification Event 2021 on TwitterInstagram, Facebook and Weibo and by searching the hashtag #OQE2021 #Roadto2022 #curling 

Leeuwarden, Netherlands

16 December 2021
Olympic Qualification Event 2021