Friday May 25, 2018
Home > News > Sports
Text:| Print|

China keeps curling world championship playoff hopes alive with Swiss win

2013-04-05 10:46 Xinhua     Web Editor: Wang YuXia comment

China split its two matches in day five play at the world men's curling championship Wednesday with a win over Switzerland and loss to Denmark to remain in the hunt for a playoff spot.

With both matches requiring an extra end to decide a winner, China got by the Swiss 5-4 in the afternoon, before falling short following a late rally to lose to the Danes 7-6 in the night game.

Facing both Scotland and Finland in its final two round-robin matches Thursday, China, with a record of five wins and four losses, realistically needs to win at least one of the games to advance to this weekend's playoffs featuring the top four teams and ties.

More importantly, China needs at least a top seven or better finish in the 12 nation tournament to qualify for a spot in next year's Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi, Russia. The top seven teams with points accumulated from the 2012 and 2013 world championships will secure Olympic berths along with host Russia. There will also be a last chance qualifier in December to decide the final two nations in the 10-country Olympic field.

"Our main goal for this competition is to get enough points to qualify for the Olympic Games," China coach Li Hongchen told Xinhua following his team's win over the Swiss.

"If we are lucky enough to go to Russia, this event will also help us to accumulate more experiences and improve the team member's abilities to adapt to big events."

Going into the 10th end up 4-2, China let the Swiss back into the match in surrendering two points to force the extra end.

"Both teams played very well in this match. Switzerland is a very good team in terms of both strategy and technique," Li said. "It was a very close match and both teams fully showed their (skill) level."

After surrendering three points in the sixth end against the Danes to fall behind 6-2, China staged an impressive comeback with single points in the next four ends to tie the score only to lose in the extra end.

Skip Liu Rui who served as a fourth on China's 2010 Winter Olympic team that finished eighth in Vancouver, said the high level of competition at the world championship had helped to improve the Chinese team, but added there was still much work to do.

"Compared to 2010, our team has improved a lot. We are better in strategy, technique and team work. But before going to Russia we still need to improve further," he said.

"Our Canadian coach (Lorne Hamblin) has helped us a lot in the strategies of playing the game and the ways of training."

In the morning games Wednesday, Japan topped Canada 10-8 to hand the host nation its second loss of the tournament, while the U.S. won its third straight game, 7-6 over Finland. Switzerland beat Denmark 7-4 and Scotland continued its strong showing in doubling Norway 8-4.

The afternoon play saw Canada beat Russia 8-5 and Norway get by rival Sweden 6-5. The Czech Republic topped Finland 9-6.

The Czechs picked up their second win of the day in the evening matches in beating the USA 9-8, while Scotland got by Sweden 8-7. Russia beat Japan 6-5.

Defending champion Canada and Scotland lead the standings with identical 7-2 records, while Denmark is third at 6-3. Four teams, including China, sport 5-4 records, with the Americans and Swiss at 4-5.

Comments (0)

Copyright ©1999-2011 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.