Denmark secure play-off place in Pilsen

  • Denmark's sweepers - lead Oliver Dupont and second Mikkel Poulsen Photo: © WCF / Richard Gray

Denmark are the first men’s team to qualify for the play-offs at the Olympic Qualification Event 2017 in Pilsen, Czech Republic after beating Netherlands, 7-3, on Friday (8 December) night.

This means the team, led by Rasmus Stjerne, will have at least one game that gives them the chance to battle for one of the last two places in the men’s ten-team line-up at next February’s PyeognChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

Netherland’s skip Jaap van Dorp managed to reduce his team’s deficit in the fourth end making a draw for one point, which took the score to 3-4. Then, on the way to the win, Denmark’s skip Rasmus Stjerne hit for one point and a 5-3 lead in the sixth end.

Italy, in their game against the host team Czech Republic, won 10-6. Both teams are still in contention for the play-offs. In the fourth end, Czech Republic’s skip Jiri Snitil made a hit for two points to level the scores 4-4. However, in the eighth end Italy’s fourth player Amos Mosaner scored three points to move in front, 8-6, before his team went on to win the game.

Russia, kept their hopes of a place in the play-off alive with a 6-5 win over Germany. En route to the win, in the sixth end, Russia’s skip Alexey Timofeev hit for one point which levelled the scores at 3-3.

Finland met China in this sixth session of men’s round-robin play and in the fourth end, Finland’s skip Aku Kauste played an angle raise take-out to score a point. This took the score to 4-3 in China’s favour. Then, in the fifth end China’s skip Rui Liu drew for one point to move further ahead, at 5-3. China went on to win 10-6 and are also still in with a chance of making the final three.

The next live game, on national broadcasters and World Curling TV (note geo-blocking applies), at this event will be China v Germany women at 09:00, Central European Time (+1 hours, Greenwich Mean Time) on Saturday (9 December) morning.

They said it

Joel Retornaz; skip, Italy (after 10-6 win over Czech Republic): “It is a big step, we need a big step [towards a play-off place] and we needed a win. I want to keep cool and focus on tomorrow’s last round-robin game [against Denmark] and to try to win it to make it through to the play-offs. Actually, I gave the fans an applause when the game was finished because their cheering is good for the sport.”

Jialiang Zhang; lead, China (after 10-6 win over Finland): “This is a really tough-difficult game for us. Team Finland are a very good team.”

Rasmus Stjerne; skip, Denmark (after 7-3 win over Netherlands): “We are relieved for sure [to be in the play-offs]. It has been a hard event. Netherlands were good, we knew they wouldn’t give up. We were head all the way, but they were just behind us. We can relax a little bit now, because we have our chance for the Olympics now.”

Men’s session six results: Czech Republic 6-10 Italy; Germany 5-6 Russia; China 10-6 Finland; Denmark 7-3 Netherlands

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

P Denmark 5-1
China 4-2
Italy 4-2
Czech Republic 3-3
Russia 3-3
Finland 2-4
Germany 2-4
Netherlands 1-5

To keep up-to-date with all the action from these championships, and the teams’ journey to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags: #OQE2017 #Roadto2018 #curling

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