Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Worlds Day 1 - Canada overcome early scare, share lead with Norway

[World Curling Federation/Pavla Vrbova]

Canada are not known as fast starters at international competitions, and faced a tough opening day against China and USA. China had to qualify through the challenge round last November, but impressed observers with their accurate up-weight hitting, much as Korea had done when they came from nowhere to claim silver in 2008.

China took 1 with hammer, then stole 2 only to give momentum back to Canada who stole 1 just before the break. China added to their lead however, with singles in 5 and a steal of 1 in 6 to go ahead 5-2 with two ends remaining.

Canada were held to one in the 7th but then came through with a big steal of two in the 8th to force an extra end, winning 6-5 with another steal when China's skip Haitao Wang’s final stone was too heavy.

Canada rode their good fortune into their afternoon draw against USA. This time Canada started well, following a blank first end with a 3 with hammer. An exchange of singles left USA down 5-3 in the 8th and though they stole the last point, it wasn't enough, Canada winning 5-4 to join Norway at the top of the standings.

Norway beat USA in the morning. The pattern of a single and a steal was broken by Norway's 2 with hammer in the 8th for a 5-4 win. Long-time skip Rune Lorentsen said: “We are extremely pleased to have done so well on the first day. I have to give credit to Terje [Rafdal] and Tone [Edvardsen] the new lead and second on our team.”

Norway saw off regional rivals Sweden 8-3 in seven ends in the afternoon draw, stealing 2 in the 6th and 3 in the 7th before handshakes.

In the other morning matches, Sweden went out to a 5-0 lead against hosts Czech Republic but saw it whittled away with a succession of single point steals. Sweden needed their single with hammer in the final end for their 6-4 win.

Korea posted 3's in the 2nd and 7th ends but needed a stolen single in the final end to complete their 7-5 win over Germany.

Germany's coach Helmar Erlewein with Stefan Deuschl, Marcus Sieger and Christiane Steger[World Curling Federation/Pavla Vrbova]

Scotland had a bye in the morning and dug themselves a big hole in their afternoon game against qualifiers Russia, falling behind 4-0 after 3 ends. Russia won 7-3, their skip Marat Romanov joking afterwards that traditionally they have lost their first game so to win was a bit of a surprise.

Scot Angie Malone with Russians Alexander Shevchenko, Andrey Smirnov and Svetlana Pakhomova[World Curling Federation/Pavla Vrbova]
The loss against a team they would have expected to beat will not have done much to help the Scots team's confidence after a series of international setbacks.

China demonstrated they are the new Asian team to watch in their 9-3 win over a Korean team lacking international experience.

China's 2nd Guangqin Xu demonstrates the team's face to the ice power delivery
[World Curling Federation/Pavla Vrbova]

The day's results have Canada and Norway at the top of the table while USA Scotland, Czech Republic and Germany await their first win.

Canada play just one game tomorrow, against Korea in the morning.
You can see results and tables in our Worlds 2011 section of the wheelchaircurling.com website.

Line scores are available HERE


Bruce Cameron said...

Nice to see Canada off to a good start....Eric are the shooting percentages available ?

. said...

There is no central recording of stats as far as I have been able to discover. Individual teams will record them, but they will not be public, or necessarily helpful.