With the teams in Group A playing their fifth games in Monday evening’s ninth session of play, the round-robin section of the World Mixed Doubles Championship has now reached half-way.
Table-toppers Italy continued their unbeaten winning ways with a 9-7 victory over Estonia after an extra end, while second-placed Switzerland had a 9-3 win over Denmark.
Three other teams — Japan, Norway and Sweden — also had wins, to keep themselves in good shape for grabbing one of the three available play-off slots from the group, as they now share third place on the rankings.
Japan beat New Zealand by 8-2, Norway were 11-3 winners over Korea, and Sweden beat Finland by 8-3 in six ends.
Italy versus Estonia
In their game against Estonia, Italy opened with their customary two points, thanks to a draw by Olympic champion Stefania Constantini.
The Italians then had a two-point steal in the second end, and a single-point steal in the third, to take a 5-0 lead.
But in the sixth end, with the Italians still enjoying a 6-1 lead, Estonia’s Marie Kaldvee played a draw to score four points and bring her team right back into the game, reducing Italy’s lead to 6-5.
Another score of two by Estonia in the eighth end levelled the game at 7-7, and forced an extra end.
Eventually, in that end, Italy’s Constantini knocked out the Estonian shot stone to score two and win by 9-7, keeping Italy’s 100% record intact.
Afterwards, Constantini said, “Actually, I think we played well. They had a real comeback in the sixth end. But we really kept working. We knew we were playing and just had to remain focussed to the end.”
Switzerland versus Denmark
Switzerland took a 5-2 lead into the break in their game against Denmark, thanks to a steal of two in the fourth end.
In the fifth end, Denmark’s Jasmin Lander scored one point with a tap-back to reduce the Swiss lead to 5-3.
In the sixth Switzerland’s Alina Paetz hit out a Danish stone to score one and increase her team’s lead to 6-3. After this, Switzerland had a steal of three in the seventh end, to win by 9-3.
New Zealand versus Japan
In their game against New Zealand, Japan took an early lead at 3-1 with a score of two in the third end.
After this, New Zealand had to resort to damage limitation in the fourth end, giving up a steal of just two points.
Another steal of two in the fifth end moved Japan closer to their eventual 8-2 win.
This was a third win in a row for Japan that moves them into joint third place.
After the game, their male player Yasumasa Tanida said, “This was a night game, so draw weight was a bit difficult, but we had a good performance.”
Finland versus Sweden
In the third end of the game between Sweden and Finland, with the Finns leading by 2-1, Sweden’s Isabella Wranaa played a tap-out on a Finnish stone to score five.
Sweden then had two single-point steals as they went on to win by 8-3 in six ends, to join the three-way third-place tie.
Norway versus Korea
In the game between Norway and Korea, the Norwegians moved into a clear lead in the third end when Korean Kim Minji’s attempted tap-up did not work out, and Norway stole three points for a 5-1 lead.
In the sixth end, with Norway leading by 6-2, Korea’s Minji Kim was facing two Norwegian counting stones when she drew to score one point and reduce Norway’s lead to 6-3.
Then, in the seventh end, Norway’s Maia Ramsfjell sealed the game with a draw for five points, to win by 11-3.
Session nine results: Finland 3-8 Sweden; New Zealand 2-8 Japan; Italy 9-7 Estonia; Norway 11-3 Korea; Switzerland 9-3 Denmark.
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