World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2015 Session 4

Russia are the only team yet to lose Photo: WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

Russia remain the only undefeated team after four sessions of play at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2015 being played at the Kisakallio Sports Institute in Lohja, Finland.

In the morning session of play, Russia’s win against Scotland, coupled with China’s loss to the USA meant that Russia sit alone in first place in the standings.

However, they found it tough going in a tight game against Scotland, with the teams tied 2-2 at the fourth end break.

Russia then took their first advantage as skip Andrey Smirnov drew into an open house for two points in the fifth end.

Scotland fourth Gregor Ewan was too heavy with his final draw with his last stone in the next end as they only managed to take one point.

Russia’s Smirnov then made a hit for two points in the seventh end to extend their lead before Scotland conceded in the eighth end with the final score 6-3.

On the next sheet, China lost their 100 percent record after losing to the USA.

Although the USA got off to a good start, taking one point from the first end, China took the lead after scoring one point in the second end and then stole a single point in the third end.

By the fourth end break the USA had regained the lead, 3-2, after taking two points in the fourth end.

In the fifth end, China skip Haitao Wang was too heavy with his final draw to give up a steal of one point, and then, with his last stone of the sixth end attempted a hit but rolled too far to give up another steal of one point.

The USA took confidence from their 5-2 lead as they eventually went on to win 6-3.

Afterwards, USA third Stephen Emt said: “We’re playing very well right now. We lost the first game to Russia but we talk about staying positive. We have a great team, all five of us including Meghan the alternate. We’ve been working hard for this and we believe! We believe in Pat, our skip, we believe in each other and we believe in ourselves and we just execute the shots. Whoever we’re going up against, whether it’s China or anybody else, we treat them the same way, we’re going out there expecting to win every game.”

On his first World Wheelchair Curling Championship experience he added: “I’ve got to fight back the tears. To be out here with the top ten teams in the world right now and being in Finland, I’ve been all around the world in the last couple of months and it’s just been an incredible experience. Being three to one right now just adds a little bit more too it.”

Slovakia picked up their first win of the Championship as they defeated Germany.

Some good set up play coupled with some mistakes by Germany allowed Slovakia to score four points in the first end and they never looked back.

Slovakia took another two points in the fourth end to lead 6-2 by the break before Germany skip Jens Jaeger was wide with an attempted takeout with his last stone to give up a steal of two points in the fifth end.

Slovakia went on to win11-3 after seven ends of play, an important win as they look to avoid relegation to the World Wheelchair Curling Qualification event.

Afterwards, Slovakia lead Monika Kunkelova said: “Finally we got our first win! I have no idea why we have not been playing well, so we’re very happy, it’s perfect to get the win. The first end was really important (score of four points), we were a little bit lucky in that end but it gave us a great lead.”

Sweden and Canada started of tight as well with the Canadian’s taking one point from the first end before Sweden went on to take the lead, scoring one point in the second end and stealing another point in the third end.

The first big score came in the fourth end when Canada scored three points to lead 4-2.

They then let Sweden back into the game however as Jalle Jungnell’s team scored one point in the fifth end with a hit and stole another point in the sixth end to tie the game at 4-4.

By the eighth end, Sweden skip Jalle Jungnell had the opportunity to score two points to win the game but hit and rolled too far to give up a steal of one point which secured Canada’s 6-4 win.

Hosts Finland picked up their second win of the week against Norway who are still looking for their first victory.

Although Norway scored three points in the seventh end to tie up the game going into the final end, Finland prevailed, scoring two points to seal their 7-5 win.

After the game, Finland skip Markku Karjalainen said: “I think the playing style for both teams is pretty similar, so it’s always very exciting when we play against Norway. I think in this game we had some very good first stones in each end which gave us the chance to build the game and that was our strength today.”

On playing in the first World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Finland he added: “It’s great to be the host nation. It gives us extra pleasure (to win) and definitely knowing that Finnish spectators are watching our games keeps our spirits up.”

RESULTS
Session 4:
Russia 6, Scotland 3; China 3, USA 6; Germany 3, Slovakia 11; Canada 6, Sweden 4.

Standings after 4 sessions of play (W-L):
1. Russia 4-0
2. China 3-1
2. USA 3-1
4. Canada 2-2
4. Finland 2-2
4. Germany 2-2
4. Scotland 2-2
8. Slovakia 1-3
8. Sweden 1-3
10. Norway 0-4

Note: Rankings are determined by rule C9 of the World Curling Federation's ‘The Rules of Curling and Rules of Competition’. Details can be obtained at http://www.worldcurling.org/rules-and-regulations

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WorldWheelchairCurlingChampionships
Twitter: @worldcurling
Hashtags: #wwhcc2015 and #curling

Paralympic Winter Games 2018
This Championship will be the first opportunity for nations to gather qualification points for the Wheelchair Curling competition at the Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, Korea in 2018.
For more information about Pyeongchang 2018, visit:
http://pyeongchang2018.com
http://www.worldcurling.org/curling-at-the-paralympics

The World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2016 will take place in Lucerne, Switzerland. For more info visit: http://wwhcc2015.worldcurling.net/world-wheelchair-curling-championship-2016-to-be-held-in-lucerne-switzerland

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