China lead in otherwise balanced men’s Olympic qualification field

  • China's second Dongxu Jiang Photo: © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

China beat Italy by 10-5 in Wednesday (6 December) afternoon’s second session of men’s round-robin play at the Olympic Qualification Event 2017, being staged in Pilsen, Czech Republic, to stand alone unbeaten at the top of the rankings.

In the other games of this session, Denmark, Finland and Germany all recorded their first wins, leaving only Netherlands still looking for their first victory.

in the third end of the game between China and Italy, China’s skip Rui Liu played an angle raise take-out to score three points and move into a 3-2 lead. The Chinese then consolidated their position in the sixth end when Liu hit out an Italian stone to score three points again, for a 9-4 lead. China went on to win by 10-5 to stand alone at the top-of-the-table.

Netherlands faced Germany in this session with both teams looking for their first win. Eventually, with the scores tied at 3-3 in the last end, Germany’s skip Alexander Baumann drew his last stone into position to score one point and take a vital 4-3 win.

Denmark faced the Czech hosts and in the sixth end the Danes moved into an 8-3 lead when their skip Rasmus Stjerne drew his last stone into the house to score four points. In the seventh end, Czech skip Jiri Snitil came in off an angle to score one point and reduce the Danish lead, to 8-4. But, this was not enough, and the Danes went on to win by 10-4.

The fourth game of the session saw Russia play Finland, and in the fifth end Russian skip Alexey Timofeev drew his last stone into the house to score two points and take a 5-4 lead. However, in the next end – the sixth end – Finland’s skip Aku Kauste also played a draw-shot, scoring three points to re-take the lead at 7-5. Finland then went on to record their first win, by 9-6.

The next live games, on national broadcasters and World Curling TV (note geo-blocking applies), at this event will be Germany v Czech Republic and China v Latvia women at 16:00, Central European Time (+1 hours, Greenwich Mean Time) on Wednesday (6 December) evening.

They said it

Rui Liu; skip, China (after 10-5 win over Italy): “This second game was difficult for us, we struggled for the first five ends. But, then we got three points and that made everything happen. Overall, I’m happy with our team’s performance – we just want to play our own way.”

Rasmus Stjerne; skip, Denmark (after 10-4 win over Czech Republic): “We felt we were playing well coming into the event but yesterday we were just on the wrong side of the rolls and heavy on the weight, so today it was just back to process, and believing we could do it.”

Aku Kauste; skip, Finland (after 9-6 win over Russia): “That feels pretty good. Yesterday we played a decent game and we had several chances but couldn’t capitalise. Today we played pretty well. The score of three helped but I think we played pretty well for the whole game. The ice feels really nice, I’m really happy with the way it curls and the speed.”

Alexander Baumann; skip, Germany (after 4-3 win over Netherlands): “That was a really important win. We started with a loss to China and now we’re under pressure for the rest of the tournament. Most games are must-win now.”

Men’s session two results: Italy 5-10 China; Netherlands 3-4 Germany; Denmark 10-4 Czech Republic; Russia 6-9 Finland

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

China 2-0
Czech Republic 1-1
Denmark 1-1
Finland 1-1
Germany 1-1
Italy 1-1
Russia 1-1
Netherlands 0-2

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