Korea and Russia qualify for OQE2021 Mixed Doubles Finals

Team Russia © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

Russia beat Finland by 10-5 while Korea were 7-5 winners over Hungary in Thursday morning’s play-off games at the OQE2021 and they now go onto the Qualification Finals, with Korea facing Australia and Russia against United States.

In their game against Finland, Russia’s Anna Sidorova opened with a hit-and-roll to score two points.  In the second end, Finland’s Aku Kauste played a raised take-out shot to set up his sister Oona with a straightforward hit for three points and a 3-2 lead.

In the third end Russia’s Sidorova got the angle wrong on a double raise attempt to give Finland a steal of one and a 4-2 lead.

Sidorova then made amends in the fourth end with an angled tap-up to score two points and level the game at 4-4 at the break.

Russia then had a single steal in the fifth to take a 5-4 lead. In the sixth, Oona Kauste had a draw for one point to level the score again, this time at 5-5.

The game was decided in the seventh end when Russia’ Sidorova played a weighted hit, and when the stones stopped moving, Russia had scored five from the end to take a 10-5 lead.

Finland ran out of stones in the eighth end to be eliminated while Russia now move on to face United States in a Qualification Final. The winner of that game will take up one of the two available slots in the Olympic line-up.

After the game, Russia’s delighted Anna Sidorova said, “We were pretty lucky because we had the right angles for us, but you have to make that shot to get five and… we made it.”

The other play-off game saw Korea face Hungary. In the first end, Korea’s Kim Minji played a double take-out through a tight port to open the scoring with two points.

When the teams played the fifth end, Korea led by 3-2 and Hungary’s Palancsa Dorottya attempted a tap-and-roll for two, but couldn’t find the roll, and had to settle for just one point, to level the game at 3-3.

In the seventh end, with Korea leading by 4-3, Hungary’s Palancsa played an open hit, trying to score three points, but an umpire’s measure determined she had only scored two, to take a 5-4 lead.

In the eighth end, Korea used their power play and eventually Kim was left with an open hit to score three points and win the game, by 7-5.

Korea now face Australia in the Qualification Finals, with only the winners going onto the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

After the game, a beaming Kim Minji simply said, “I’m very nervous, but very happy” while Korean coach Wade Scoffin added, “We’re really pleased with how we performed and having the power play in the last end made the difference.”

Team Korea © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

Play-off results: Finland 5-10 Russia; Korea 7-5 Hungary

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Leeuwarden, Netherlands

9 December 2021
Olympic Qualification Event 2021