PACC 2012 Day 3 Round-up

Korea, along with China, remain unbeaten in the men's Championship Photo: WCF

In the third day of play at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships, China sit in first position in the women’s and men’s standings as both teams remain unbeaten in the Championships.

The men played two sessions today which brought New Zealand their first victory of the Championship against event debutants Kazakhstan. It was a relatively simple win for New Zealand who took advantage of several errors made by their opponents. This allowed New Zealand to win important points in the ends which they had the hammer, including four points in the fifth end that helped them win the game 8-3 in only six ends.

After finally getting off the mark, New Zealand skip, Peter de Boer, was pleased with his team’s performance. He said: “We played a simple game today, we capitalised on their mistakes. But it’s nice to get a win after a couple of disappointing results. Hopefully we can take it up another level – it was quite a straightforward game out there this morning – nothing too complex.”

On the key moments in the game, de Boer added: “I think in the first end we looked like getting a three or four and he (Kazakhstan skip, Alexander Orlov) played a very good shot. I made a draw and getting that two with the hammer gets you off to a good start and got us moving.”

The two other men’s morning sessions proved to be closer games. Japan edged Australia in a game of two halves. Australia led 4-2 at the fifth end break but Japan responded with scores of two points in the sixth end and a steal of two points in the seventh end. That proved to be decisive as both teams traded single points in the remaining three ends and the score finished 7-6 in Japan’s favour.

In the other men’s game, Chinese Taipei and Korea also played out a close encounter. Without much between the teams, a steal of one point in the third end for Korea was enough to separate the teams and give them a 7-6 victory.

In the men’s evening session, China returned to winning ways after having a bye in the morning session. Their opponents, Chinese Taipei, started well, with the teams tied at one point each going into the fifth end. However, the seventh end produced a score of four points for China after Chinese Taipei skip Randolph Shen clipped a guard with his final stone. This proved to be too much for Chinese Taipei who conceded the game in the ninth end with the final score 7-3, keeping China in first position in the standings.

Japan made it two wins out of two today as they defeated Kazakhstan 9-4. Skipped by Alexander Orlov again, Kazakhstan struggled after Japan took four points in the third end. Japan always remained in control of the game and the teams eventually shook in the tenth end, the two victories today lifting Japan into third in the standings.

New Zealand went into their evening match against unbeaten Korea needing a win to get back into the semi-final hunt. With the scores level at 3-3 after the fourth end, pressure from Korea forced a steal of one point in the fifth end. The hosts then blanked the next two ends before attempting a tough double take-out in the eighth end but a Korean stone jammed and New Zealand gave up another steal which left the score at 5-3. Korea forced New Zealand to take just a single point in the ninth end and then made no mistake with hammer in the last end. Korean skip Chang-Min Kim removed the only opposition stone with his last shot to score four points and record a 9-4 win.

In the only women’s session of the day, China’s Bingyu Wang and her team continued their good form with an impressive performance against Japan. With hammer, China dominated throughout this game, gaining a key advantage in the sixth end when they stole three points from Japan. With only two points on the board, Japan decided to shake hands and end the game in the ninth end with the final score 8-2.

Afterwards, China skip Bingyu Wang, explained that experience was key to their recent success. She said: “Right now we have been together as a team for four years, we know each other and how to play together. We play fast and have a lot of confidence so we feel more comfortable. With more experience playing together we are feeling a lot more confident than last year.

On today’s game she added: “I think the first few ends were a little bit tight as my team were nervous but after three ends we played much better. I think to avoid losing we just need to keep concentrating, play our own game and not think about anything else.”

New Zealand women picked up their first win of the Championship, beating Kazakhstan in eight ends. The highlight of the game was a steal of four points in the sixth end. Although Kazakhstan managed to get three points on the board, including a steal of one point in the third end, they could not match New Zealand, who also stole two points in the fifth end and another point in the seventh end on their way to an 11-3 victory.

Afterwards, New Zealand skip, Bridget Becker, was pleased to get their first win following some disappointing results. She said: “We decided after our horrible game last night that we had to improve and needed to make a fresh start. Our tournament starts today! From now on we'll just relax and play one shot at a time. If we make our shots we'll just let the results take care of themselves.”

In the only other women’s game today, Korea won their game against Australia 8-4 in nine ends. Although the biggest scoring end of the game came in the fourth end when Korea scored four points, steals of one point in each of the seventh and eighth ends helped them secure an important win to keep them in second position in the standings.

Standings after Day 3:
(Team won-lost)

Women (after 5 sessions):

China 5-0
Korea 4-1
Japan 3-2
Australia 2-3
New Zealand 1-4
Kazakhstan 0-5

Men (after 4 sessions):

China 3-0
Korea 3-0
Japan 3-1
Australia 1-2
Chinese Taipei 1-3
New Zealand 1-3
Kazakhstan 0-3

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• The World Women’s Curling Championship 2013 will take place in Riga, Latvia (16-24 March)

• The Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2013 will take place in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (March 30 – 7 April)

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