China/Great Britain and Japan/Switzerland to compete for Mixed Doubles Gold

  • Photos: WCF / Richard Gray

China/Great Britain and Japan/Switzerland will compete for Gold in the Mixed Doubles curling final at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway later today (Sunday 21 February).

The Gold and Bronze medal games will be played at 13.00 (Central European Time). In the Bronze game Japan/Canada and China/Norway will meet.

This is the second curling medal event at these Games and two athletes still have the chance to earn a place on the the podium in both disciplines. Canada’s Tyler Tardi won Gold in the Mixed event, while Switzerland’s Philipp Hoesli collected Bronze.

China/Great Britain, made-up of China third Yu Han and Great Britain skip Ross Whyte, beat Japan/Canada pair, Honoka Sasaki and Tardi, in the semi-finals this morning, 6-3.

Tardi and Sasaki took a point lead in the first end, but Han and Whyte responded with single points in the subsequent two ends. Another score of one in the fourth end for Tardi and Sasaki saw the scores level, 2-2 at the fourth end break.

The deciding end was the fifth end when Han and Whyte scored three points. In the following ends the teams exchanged single points before the game ended in the eighth end when Japan/Canada ran out of stones.

Japan/Switzerland, made-up of Japan’s Yako Matsuzawa and Switzerland’s Hoesli, won a very tight game 7-6 against China’s Ruiyi Zhao and host Norway’s Andreas Haarstad.

At the fourth end break the ultimate winners had a 4-2 lead, however Zhao and Haarstad fought back to 6-6 at the end of the seventh end scoring two points in each of the sixth and seventh ends. However, their opponents scored the single point needed in the final end, securing their place in the final.

They Said It:

Ross Whyte; Team CHN|GBR (after 6-3 win over JPN|CAN): “It's great, I wasn't expecting it. You always like to exceed your expectations, so yes, I'm really happy. I wouldn't say that there's any key to our success, we both make strikes, we both make draws at times, luckily we made our last shots which helps massively. If I've mucked up, then she's [Yu Han] here to save me, so we are playing really good.”

Honoka Sasaki; Team JPN|CAN: “In the beginning of the game our strategy was good, but after that I missed a couple of shots, and I think this is a big reason why we lost. I think that our teamwork is good, so I would like to just keep up this good teamwork in the Bronze medal game and we'll make an effort to win that game.”

Philipp Hoesli; Team JPN|SUI (after 7-6 win over CHN|NOR): “It was a really tight game, to the end. At the beginning I was nervous but we have got better and better. I’m really happy because at the start of this event there were 32 teams and now I’m in the top two. I’m proud of our team and we’ll do our best in the final.”

Ruiyi Zhao; Team CHN|NOR: “For the whole game we were down by a couple of points and we were trying to catch up. First of all when I’m practicing for the next game I will try to get to know the sheet better, then I will try to minimise my mistakes and do my best.”

DRAW, finals:

Gold: China/Great Britain v Japan/Switzerland; Bronze: Japan/Canada v China/Norway

RESULTS, after semi-finals:

China/Great Britain 6-3 Japan/Canada; China/Norway 6-7 Japan/Switzerland