PACC 2012 Day 1 Round-up

China's Rui Liu lead his team to victory over Japan Photo: WCF

The 2012 Pacific-Asia Curling Championships got underway in Naseby, New Zealand today. In the women’s event, China, Japan and Korea remain the only unbeaten teams having won all of their games following two sessions of play while China, Chinese Taipei and Korea remain unbeaten in the men’s Championship.

In the morning session, Korea, skipped by Eun-Jung Kim, secured an important win against host nation New Zealand following a tight game which ended 8-4. New Zealand started well, leading three points to one going into the fifth end. However, Korea hit back with two points in the fifth end, which set them on their way to victory. Although New Zealand picked up another single point in the sixth end, scores of two points in the seventh end, a steal of two points in the eighth end and another steal of one point in the ninth end left Korea with a simple task of running New Zealand out of stones and sealing their first win of the day.

After the game, Korea Skip, Eun-Jung Kim, was pleased to get off to a winning start and has high hopes for the Championship. She said: “We are happy to start with a win but we will play better as we get more familiar with the ice - we found it a little bit difficult to judge today but each game we will get better. Our main aim this week is to win the (PACC) Championship and then progress to the World Championship. All of the teams here are very good, especially China and Japan, so it will be difficult but we believe we can do it and win.”

In the other morning games, China, skipped by Bingyu Wang, comfortably beat Australia 11-2 in six ends, which included a steal of two points in the fourth end and another four points in the sixth end which secured their win.

PACC newcomers Kazakhstan didn’t get their Championship off to the best of starts, losing 10-2 to Japan. Although Kazakhstan picked up two single points in this game, Japan scored three points in the first and third ends before stealing two points in both the fourth and fifth ends to help them win the game in the seventh end.

In the women’s evening session, Japan continued their good form beating Australia 11-6. China and Korea also picked up important wins, both recording high scores as well. China defeated New Zealand 10-2, with scores of three points in the fifth end and a steal of three points in the sixth end which was enough to see the hosts concede the game in the seventh end. Korea also kept up their good form with an 11-1 victory over Kazakhstan, the highlight a steal of five points in the second end.

The men played only one session today, with hosts New Zealand playing out a close game with Chinese Taipei. With the last stone in the first end, Chinese Taipei blanked the first three ends before making their first score of two points in the fourth end. Both teams were still in the game up until Chinese Taipei stole two points in the ninth end which proved to be just enough to win the game 5-4.

After the game, Chinese Taipei skip, Randolph Shen, said: “It feels great to get our first win – it’s a pretty tough competition so any win is nice to have. Our goal at this year’s Pacific-Asia Championship is definitely to make the top two – we’ve been very close in previous years but with a little bit of luck we might make one of the top two spots. This year is our third year together as a foursome and we had a chance to work together prior to coming to this tournament rather than just actually meeting up at this tournament. We play on the World Curling Tour over in Canada and we play one tournament and then have one weekend off for training and vice-versa. We played four tournaments over there so have managed to get in some important practice ahead of this year’s event.”

In the other men’s games, China recorded the biggest win in the session, beating Japan 8-3. China were ahead by four points to one by the sixth end and although Japan scored two points in the eighth end to make it 4-3, China responded with a score of one point in the ninth end and a steal of three points in the tenth end to take victory.

While the Kazakhstan men were made to wait another day to make their debut at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships with a bye in session one, the other men’s game between Australia and Korea proved to be a very exciting game. By the fifth end break, Korea were leading by five points to two. However, Australia picked themselves up and a score of one point in the sixth end and a steal of two points in the seventh end brought it back to five points each. Korea scored two points in the eighth end before Australia went one better and scored three points in the ninth end to setup a nervy finish. With under a minute remaining on the clock for both teams, Korea took a 9-8 victory with a score of two points in the tenth and final end.

Standings after Day 1:
(Team won-lost)

Women (after 2 sessions):

China 2-0
Japan 2-0
Korea 2-0
Australia 0-2
Kazakhstan 0-2
New Zealand 0-2

Men (after 1 session):

China 1-0
Korea 1-0
Chinese Taipei 1-0
Kazakhstan 0-0
Australia 0-1
Japan 0-1
New Zealand 0-1

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