Strong play and intense games characterised today’s curling with all ice sheets in action first up with the eight men’s teams opening the day’s play.
Australia battled hard against Korea in what was an intense game. A promising score of 3 by Australia in the seventh end was not enough to put them ahead of Korea who led all the way, eventually winning 8-5. China took the lead over Czech Republic in the first end and continued to gain momentum, finishing well ahead in the sixth end, 10-1. New Zealand and USA played a close game all the way to the eighth end when USA scored a 4.The ninth end was blanked (given away) by New Zealand (a no-score for both teams) and USA won, 9-5. Japan was too strong for Canada, winning 12-6.
Korea played another strong game today, holding its own for most of the game against world champion China in the women’s third round. Both teams performed well with China shutting out Korea and stealing a 1 on the sixth end. At that stage Korea was still ahead, but China scored 3 on the eighth end after Korea missed a shot, putting it ahead. Another 2 on the final end secured China’s win, 9-8. Australia played well, but in the end Japan was too strong, winning 8-3.
In the men’s third round Korea put in another strong performance, beating New Zealand 9-4. Korea played consistently throughout, stealing 3 points in the second end. New Zealand ran into bad luck when a stone picked dramatically (encountered a minute foreign entity) and went well off course in the fifth end. “It was a shame. It looked like we were getting back in there,” said Dan Mustapic, New Zealand’s skip.
Korea’s second, Lim Myung Sup said they hadn’t played New Zealand before and were pleased with their performance. “Actually we practised hard for two months before this Winter Games. I think we had a good game. New Zealand is very good-placed, so we are very happy, he said.”
Still on the men’s round, China and Japan played an even game right up until the last end, when it looked like it could go either way. China had the last shot of the game, but it came into the house a little short in that end and the game went to Japan, 8-7. USA was on form beating Canada 6-2. Australia beat Czech Republic, 10-2.
In the final women’s round of the day Japan beat Korea, 7-1. New Zealand’s third, Brydie Donald had been taking the last shot during the first day of play, but today, skip Bridget Becker was back in that role. However, New Zealand was once again soundly beaten by world champion China with a final score of 11-1.
100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games continues tomorrow (25 August) with the men’s round robin and the women’s double round robin.