Australia one win away from Beijing 2022

Team Australia © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

Australia kept their unbeaten record with a 7-6 extra-end win over Hungary in the 12th session of Mixed Doubles round-robin play at the OQE2021.

In the same session, Spain recorded their first win, with an extra-end 8-7 win over Turkey, while Russia kept their play-off hopes alive with an 8-6 win over Germany.

In the match between Hungary and Australia, Hungary opened with a score of two points instead of three when Palancsa Dorottya’s attempt to hit and then roll did not work out. Australia responded with a single point in the second end. Then, in the third, Dorottya’s attempted angle raise was too straight, giving Australia a steal of three points and a 4-2 lead.

Dean Hewitt © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

Australia led by 6-4 as the teams played the eighth end, and Hungary then scored two points to level the game at 6-6 and force an extra end. In that end, Australia’s Tahli Gill drew her last shot into the four-foot ring to score one and win the game by 7-6. This result gives Australia a direct route to Thursday afternoon’s play-off final game, while Hungary now face Denmark – who sat this session out – in their last round-robin game still looking to qualify.

After the game, Australia’s Dean Hewitt said, “That was a crucial one. Getting that first place in the pool is really key for that bye through to the final. We’re going to push hard tonight and keep that momentum going and then move into tomorrow afternoon, building further.”

His partner Tahli Gill said, “They played a good end (in the eighth) and we knew that as long as we at least kept them to two then we had hammer in the extra end.” Thinking back to her crucial final draw in the extra end she added, “We’ve practised that situation a lot. We knew that as soon as we opened it up, I just had to draw with my last. We’ve practised that so many times, it was just… taking a deep breath and throwing the line and the weight.”

Russia opened their game against Germany with a steal of three points when Germany’s Pia-Lisa Schoell got her angles wrong on a raise attempt. Germany scored one point in the second end. Then Russia added one point in the third end when Anna Sidorova put her final draw onto the button, inside a German stone already biting the button to increase her lead to 4-1.

Team Russia © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

Russia had a 7-3 lead as the teams played the seventh end, when Schoell brought the Germans right back into the game with a draw for three that reduced Russia’s lead to 7-6.

In the eighth end, Germany over-swept their last stone, leaving Russia lying one, and not having to play their last stone for an 8-6 win.

After this game, Russia’s Sidorova said, “We’re really happy with the win. For us, it’s all about mentality, about being nervous at the key moment and having the ability to handle it.”

Looking forward to Russia’s final round-robin game against Turkey, she added, “We know that we have to win to qualify, we’re still trying to win but it’s also really important to be happy to play.”

In the third game of this session, Spain recorded their first win so far, beating Turkey by 8-7 in an extra end when Ohane Otaegi picked out a Turkey stone to score the one point for the victory.

Session 12 results: Hungary 6-7 Australia; Germany 6-8 Russia; Turkey 7-8 Spain

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Leeuwarden, Netherlands

8 December 2021
Olympic Qualification Event 2021