Scotland women qualify for Beijing 2022, while Japan, Korea and Latvia secure play-off spots at the OQE

Scotland qualify for Beijing 2022 © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

Scotland beat Italy by 8-1 in Thursday afternoon’s final session of women’s round-robin play at the Olympic Qualification Event. Meanwhile Korea beat Czech Republic by 12-6 and Turkey beat Japan by 8-5.

These results meant that Scotland, Korea and Japan shared the same six-two win-loss record and, as their head-to-head results did not produce a clear ranking, their final positions were determined by their aggregate pre-game Draw Shot Challenge rankings.

On this table, Scotland came out on top, to rank first overall and take the direct route to the Beijing Olympic Winter Games.

Korea ranked second and Japan were third, and these two teams will now play each other in the first play-off game. The winner of that game will go to Beijing. The loser will have a second chance to qualify for the Olympics, by playing in the second play-off game for the last available slot. The opponents in that game will be fourth-placed Latvia, who sat out this final session.

In their game against Italy, Scotland held a 2-1 lead after three ends. In the fourth end Scottish skip Eve Muirhead played a take-out on an Italian stone to score one more point and move onto a 3-1 lead.

In the next end, Italy skip Stefania Constantini was short with her draw attempt and this gave the Scots a steal of three points and a 6-1 lead at the break.

A further steal of two by the Scots in the sixth end for an 8-1 lead was enough, and Italy conceded.

After this crucial game, Scotland’s Muirhead said, “We played a really good game there. We knew that it meant a lot for them, but it also meant a lot for us. We really came out really good from the first stone.”

Turning to her Olympic qualification, she said, “It’s something that you dream of, getting to a fourth Olympic Games. A few months ago, I thought this would never happen. When you get a moment like this it shows that all the hard work, all the teamwork is worth it.”

She also had a word for the Turkey team that played such a big role in giving her team the direct qualification route, “Turkey are doing a great job, they’re a team for the future and they did us a big favour there.”

In the game between Japan and Turkey, the Japanese held a 1-0 lead after four ends. In the fifth end, Turkey skip Dilsat Yildiz played a draw into the house, to score two points and take a 2-1 lead into the break.

In the sixth end, Japan’s skip Fujisawa Satsuki played a pick-out on a Turkey stone to score two points and re-take the lead, at 3-2.

The teams were tied at 5-5 after nine ends and Turkey had a simple hit-and-stay in the tenth to score three points and take their third win of the event, by 8-5.

Turkey versus Japan © WCF / Céline Stucki

In the game between Korea and Czech Republic, Korea led by 5-4 after six ends. In the seventh end Czech skip Anna Kubeskova played a take-out on a Korea stone to score two points and take a 6-5 lead.

In the next end, Korea’s Kim Eun-Jung played a precise take-out to score four points and move on to a 9-6 lead.

Korea then stole three more points in the tenth end for a 12-6 win.

In the fourth game of the session, Estonia faced Germany.

In the second end, with the scores still blank, Estonia skip Liisa Turmann drew inside three German counters to open the scoring with one point.

Germany responded in the next end when their skip Daniela Jentsch also played a draw to score one point and level the score at 1-1. Germany then had steals in the following three ends to lead the game by 7-1 after six ends. At that point, Estonia conceded defeat.

After this session, Latvia skip Santa Blumberga-Berzina, whose team sat out this session but qualified for the play-offs, said, “We’re really happy to make it to the play-offs, we’ve got that ‘Q’ letter. We’ll see how that works out. We’ll have two days rest now and that’ll help.”

Women Session Nine results: Italy 1-8 Scotland; Estonia 1-7 Germany; Turkey 8-5 Japan; Czech Republic 6-12 Korea

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Leeuwarden, Netherlands

16 December 2021
Olympic Qualification Event 2021