China, Denmark and Italy men share top-spot as round-robin passes halfway

  • Italy skip Joel Retornaz Photo: © WCF / Richard Gray

Wins by China, Denmark and Italy in Thursday (7 December) afternoon’s fourth session of men’s round-robin play keeps all three teams in joint top spot at the Olympic Qualification Event 2017 in Pilsen, Czech Republic.

China faced Netherlands and opened the scoring with a score of three points in the first end. The Dutch team battled back after this and levelled the score at 4-4 with a single point steal in the seventh end, but China managed to score two points in the eighth end and then held on for their 7-5 win.

Denmark started their game against Finland strongly, with, skip Rasmus Stjerne hitting out a Finnish stone to score three points, in the first end. The Danes scored three points again in the third end for a 6-1 lead, when Stjerne played a double take-out to remove two Finnish stones and leave three of his own stones in scoring positions. However, Finland responded in the second-half with scores of three points in both the sixth and ninth ends to take a 9-8 lead. After this, the Danes managed to score two points in the tenth end for a 10-9 win.

The game between Italy and Germany went all the way to an extra end and in this end, Germany’s skip Alexander Baumann came up short with his final draw to give Italy a steal of two points and a 6-4 win.

The Czech hosts played Russia in this session and, in another tight game that went all the way to the last stone Czech Republic emerged as 7-5 winners for their second win so far. This victory keeps them in touch of the play-offs.

The next live game, on national broadcasters and World Curling TV (note geo-blocking applies), at this event will be Czech Republic v Finland women at 19:00, Central European Time (+1 hours, Greenwich Mean Time) on Thursday (7 December) evening.

They said it

Jiri Snitil; skip, Czech Republic (after 7-5 win over Russia): “We started strong, but part of the game wasn’t exactly what we wished for. Then, we came back in the eighth scoring deuce. We made it and brought it home.”

Rui Liu; skip, China (after 7-5 win over Netherlands): “I am still struggling and Team Netherlands played very well. We had several misses. We need to play well.”

Joel Retornaz; skip, Italy (after 6-4 win over Germany): “It doesn’t happen every day to steal a win in an extra end. We were a bit lucky but we put ourselves into the position to be lucky. We forced him [Germany skip Alexander Baumann] to draw and we knew that the speed of the ice changed in the extra end. We wanted him [Baumann] to play a draw and it worked out really well for us and we won this game, so we’re happy. We’re in a good spot now, but the week isn’t over yet. We definitely need more wins if we’ve to go forward.”

Rasmus Stjerne; skip, Denmark (after 10-9 win over Finland): “That was wild. It felt like two games, the first one we won after five ends and then they demolished us in the second-half. It was only because Johnny [third player Frederiksen] played two monsters in the last end that we came away with the win. I’ll take it though – any win is really important; every win right now is so important.”

Men’s session four results: Russia 5-7 Czech Republic; China 7-5 Netherlands; Italy 6-4 Germany; Finland 9-10 Denmark

Standings after men’s session four (W-L):

China 3-1
Denmark 3-1
Italy 3-1
Czech Republic 2-2
Germany 2-2
Finland 1-3
Netherlands 1-3
Russia 1-3

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