Italian coach Giulio Regli was delighted with his team’s performance. Remembering that the Italian team had faltered after finding themselves in this position only a year ago, he cautioned that there were still four games of the round-robin to go.
"The team had to keep focused," Regli said.
Switzerland were first to face the new leaders, and nosed ahead 3-2 on a steal of 2 after the mid-game break. Italy came back to steal 2 in the 7th, and sealed the win 5-3 with a final stolen point in the 8th.
Italy then faced Germany, who had lost to Finland 7-4 this morning, after allowing 4 stolen points. They also may have lost some confidence as they surrendered seven more stolen points to Italy in an 11-1 loss.
Switzerland, like Germany, failed to recover from their morning defeat, allowing the Finns to grab an 8 -6 win with 3 in the 8th.
Denmark's Sussie Neilsen bracing Proben NeilsenPer Christenson, Denmark's very experienced (and ex-Norway) coach, may have had some tough words for his under-performing national squad; whatever was or was not said, the Danes came out fighting today, blowing away the Czechs 13-5, and Latvia 15 -3.
Latvia's lead Vita MieziteRookies Latvia had earlier disposed of Japan 10 - 6, stealing the game's final 5 points. Paralympics skip Yoji Nakajima's team may be feeling the absence of preparation occasioned by the series of natural disasters that hit his homeland this year, though Japan did regroup to post their first win, 9-3 over Slovakia in Draw 5.
Japan controlled that game with some great set up shots from the front end. Here's an observer's description of some fine play in the 3rd end that resulted in a steal of 2.
Japan and Slovakia each had a stone in the 4ft, both well hidden behind guards but Slovakia had other counting stones in the house, and the hammer.
Skip Yoji decided to play a hit and roll off a stone in the 12ft. to attempt to remove or make sure of the stealing point. The first two ends had been decided on a measure for the point.
He made it perfectly, pushing the Slovakian counter out of the 4ft, and sitting 2 buried. Radoslav Duriš attempted a raise but was unable to outcount Japan's stones, giving up a steal of 2.
Standings after Draw 5
Italy 4 - 0
Finland 3 - 2
Germany 3 - 2
Switzerland 3 - 2
Denmark 2 - 2
Latvia 2 - 3
Czech Rep . 1 - 3
Japan 1 - 3
Slovakia 1 - 3
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