After their disappointment last night, Canada got their Olympic campaign back on track with a confident 6-0 win over Italy in seven ends, scoring three in the seventh end to wrap up the game. After their first win of the competition, Canadian Lead, Emily Gray, was pleased to add a win to what has been an enjoyable few days for the team so far.
She said: “We’ve managed to do a little bit of the culture and education programme. Meeting so many different cultures and listening to all the different languages has been so awesome - it’s great learning from all of these different people. Getting the win today rounds off a really good few days in this beautiful city.”
Emily added: “The team played well this morning, Thomas pulled out a lot of the shots and the rest of the team were fantastic - I’m very proud of them. I think the difference today was that we had more of a desire to win the game. Of course, you win some you lose some, but we came out much stronger and we were better prepared which definitely helped.”
In the other games, the two unbeaten teams in the group continued their winning streak. Sweden beat a resilient Russian team 5-3, while Japan beat hosts Austria 7-5. Japan rescued their game with a steal of one point in the eighth end which took both teams into an extra end. Japan then took advantage, stealing two points to close out the game in their favour.
Germany also recovered from their loss to Russia last night, beating Great Britain 5-4 in an extra end in what was an extremely close encounter. Duncan Menzies scored one point in the eighth end to take the game into an extra end. But Germany, with the hammer, last stone advantage went on to win the game, 5-4.
In addition to taking part in the Curling Competitions, the athletes have also been getting right into the Olympic Spirit. After their victory, Germany Lead, Nicole Muskatewitz, described how much she is enjoying being part of the German Youth Olympic Team.
She said: “The Olympics have been absolutely amazing so far! We have met so many people from many different countries. The programme is very good - everyday there is something to do - we can meet friends and join in lots of fun activities. It’s just really exciting to be part of such a big event and when you win it makes it even more special.”
Discussing their victory, Muskatewitz added: “We were all very close together as a team which helped us play better than yesterday. We were perhaps a little nervous and everything was new to us but now that we’re used to the arena and the spectators we played a lot better.”
Red Group Standings after Session 3
1 JPN - Japan 2 2 0
1 SWE - Sweden 2 2 0
3 AUT - Austria 2 1 1
3 CAN - Canada 2 1 1
3 GER - Germany 2 1 1
3 RUS - Russian Federation 2 1 1
7 GBR - Great Britain 2 0 2
7 ITA - Italy 2 0 2
In the Blue Group session 3 at lunchtime, Switzerland posted the score of the round, beating Estonia 12-1 in six ends. The USA also maintained their unbeaten record, beating Korea 7-4, scoring four points in the seventh end to clinch victory.
Norway made the Czech Republic work hard for their victory after stealing three points in the first end. But the Czech’s battled back to win the game 8-5 thanks to a steal of two in the sixth end and ending the game with another three points in the eighth.
After the game, Czech Republic Vice-Skip, Alzbeta Baudysova, was left feeling confident ahead of their next games. She said: “I hoped that would win something, but I was surprised to hear one of my team say that we had medal ambitions. After three victories though, this seems more of a possibility for us and we’re all looking forward to the next game.”
Alzbeta is also relishing the opportunity to be part of this event. She added: “It’s absolutely fantastic being at the Youth Olympics and being part of this successful team. I hope that one day I will represent the Czech Republic in the real Olympics so this is a great learning opportunity for me.”
New Zealand picked up their first victory of the competition, beating Pacific-Asia rivals China 7-6 with a game clinching double from Skip Luke Steele, under pressure, in the final end of the game.
Afterwards New Zealand’s jubilant Vice-Skip, Eleanor Adviento, said: “It was amazing playing against China, one of the best teams in the competition. They are so accurate about everything and we had our ups and downs during the game. But we were continually positive throughout the game and it paid off.”
Speaking of her team’s experience at the event so far, Adviento added: “It’s hard playing in the Mixed Team sometimes but it’s really, really fun. The guys are always joking around but it must be really hard playing with me! Even just the audience coming to watch is amazing. We have had to get used to people cheering us on and all of the other curling going on next to us on the other sheets, but this is amazing - I’ve never played in anything like this before.”
Blue Group Standings after Session 3
1 CZE - Czech Republic 3 3 0
1 SUI - Switzerland 3 3 0
1 USA - United States of America 3 3 0
4 CHN - China 3 1 2
4 NOR - Norway 3 1 2
4 NZL - New Zealand 3 1 2
7 EST - Estonia 3 0 3
7 KOR - Korea 3 0 3
The Mixed Team competition runs until January 18 with bronze and gold medal games being played at 17:00 local time. The final standings of the Mixed Teams will then determine the teams for the unique Mixed Doubles competition where one male and one female curler, from different nations, join together in the second curling competition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Curling fans will be able to keep up to date with the latest scores from the event via the World Curling Federation micro-site: http://www.innsbruck2012.curlingevents.com
The World Curling Federation will also be updating regularly from the event via their fan feeds on Twitter http://twitter.com/worldcurling and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/WorldCurlingFederation
A daily highlights video clip covering all of the Winter Olympic sports taking place at the Games will be available on the Innsbruck 2012 YouTube site http://www.youtube.com/innsbruck2012