Denmark men are final curling team into 2018 Olympic Winter Games

  • Lead Oliver Dupont will join his two sisters in PyeongChang - who also qualified in Pilsen Photo: © WCF / Richard Gray

Denmark’s men grabbed the last available slot in the line-up for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games after a 4-2 win over the Czech hosts in Sunday (10 December) evening’s sudden-death qualification game at curling’s Olympic Qualification Event 2017, in Pilsen, Czech Republic.

This game was close all the way, with never more than two points between the teams. Eventually, in the tenth end, Denmark’s skip Rasmus Stjerne drew his final shot onto the button inside two Czech stones already in the house, to score one point and win the game by 4-2.

Denmark’s jubilant men’s team – skip Stjerne, third Johnny Frederiksen, second Mikkel Poulsen and lead Oliver Dupont, supported by alternate Morten Berg Thomsen – will be joined at the Olympic Games by their women’s team, who had won their place earlier in the day.

For Frederiksen and Poulsen this will be a third Olympic appearance, while for Stjerne, he will be making his second appearance at the Games. For Dupont, he will be making his Olympic debut, but will be joined by sisters Madeleine and Denise, who also qualified in Pilsen on Sunday.

The line-up of National Olympic Committees taking part has now been completed. It consists of (in order of qualification ranking): Canada, Sweden, United States, Japan, Switzerland, Great Britain (qualification earned by Scotland), Norway, hosts Korea and now, from the Olympic Qualification Event, Italy and Denmark.

They said it

Rasmus Stjerne; skip, Denmark (after 4-2 win over Czech Republic to qualify for the Olympic Winter Games): “It’s amazing. We were just short of the direct berth [a loss to Italy]. We’ve been playing well all week and to go down to the last game to get in is definitely something. We felt we did what we could to be prepared for this, but ultimately it was small margins that did it. I’m thrilled the boys put it on and I’m so happy right now.

“I was told last time what to expect [at the Olympic Games] and I didn’t believe it but, at least I know for myself what’s going to happen. We know we can do well. We just need to do the same thing we did here and prepare well for it. The [Danish] girls also made it which is amazing, so curling in Denmark is blooming right now. We’re thrilled that Denmark made it through and are really happy for us all.”

Jiri Snitil; skip, Czech Republic (after 2-4 loss to Denmark): “I’m very disappointed. The game was close and we had a couple of chances for deuce and we weren’t able to finish it. The shots didn’t come as we wished and then at the end Rasmus [Stjerne, Denmark skip] and his team played very well defensively. His last draw for the game was the Olympic shot, so I don’t think we could have done anything better in the last two ends. The support we had was amazing, really something. I hope this brings more events to the Czech Republic. Czech fans are just cool, great curling fans, so thanks very much.”

Men’s second qualification game result: Czech Republic 2-4 Denmark

Standings after men’s second qualification game (W-L):

Q Italy 5-3
Q Denmark 7-2
Czech Republic 4-4
Russia 4-3
China 4-3
Finland 3-4
Germany 2-5
Netherlands 1-6

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