World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2015 Play-offs
release: 12 February 2015
Lohja, Finland – China qualified for the gold medal game for the first
time in their history while Russia and Slovakia will play in the sole
semi-final following the 1v2 and 3v4 Page play-offs at the World
Wheelchair Curling Championship 2015 being played at the Kisakallio
Sports Institute in Lohja, Finland.
As well as the play-offs, Germany defeated Scotland in the relegation
tie-breaker, which means that Scotland join Sweden and Norway in the
World Wheelchair Curling Qualification event.
In the 1v2 Page play-off, China and Russia played out a nervy first
half, with China stealing one point in the first end before Russia
levelled in the next end.
It stayed that way until the seventh end when China skip HaiTao Wang
made a hit to score two points for a 3-1 lead.
They then went on to run their opponents out of stones in the eighth to
win 3-1, Russia’s first defeat of the Championship.
Not only is this the first time that China has qualified for a World
Wheelchair Curling Championship gold medal game, it also guarantees
they will, at a minimum, finish with at least the silver medals, the
highest ever finish for China at this event.
Speaking after their win, China skip HaiTao Wang said: “We had a long
discussion before this game about the tactics we would use, how we
would play and how we should approach the game mentally. Of course,
before the game we were very nervous, but as we got into the game we
calmed down and I think that proved key today – staying calm and
focused in every end. We got the win and we are all so happy to reach
the gold medal game.”
Russia meanwhile move into the sole semi-final where they will get one
more chance to reach the gold medal game as they face Slovakia, who won
the 3v4 play-off.
In this game, Slovakia rued a missed chance to take two points in the
first end when fourth player Branislav Jakubec made a takeout but
rolled too far to only take one point.
Finland made a hit for one point in the next end before stealing single
points in the next two ends after Slovakia’s Jakubec was heavy with his
final draw shot in both ends.
Jakubec got lucky in the fifth end when he clipped a guard with his
final draw attempt and rolled into a scoring position to score one
point for Slovakia.
Finland had the chance to take five points in the sixth end but their
skip, Markku Karjalainen, clipped a guard with his final stone to only
take one point.
Slovakia took the lead again as Jakubec made a takeout with his final
stone to score three points, to make the score 5-4 going into the
Finland skip Markku Karjalainen had the chance to win the game in this
end – all he had to do was draw into the house to score two points, but
was heavy, giving Finland only one point which forced the extra end.
There, Slovakia prevailed as the Finnish skip hit a guard with his last
stone, giving Slovakia one point for their 6-5 win to take them into
the semi-final against Russia.
Like China, Slovakia also made history. This is the first time they
have qualified for the semi-finals in what is only their third
appearance at a World Wheelchair Curling Championship.
After their win, Slovakia skip Radoslav Duris said: “It’s the first
time we have qualified for the semi-final so we are very happy. I think
that the three points in the seventh end was key in the end. We’ve
played better with each game - we always go out and try to do our
best and thankfully we won this afternoon.”
Looking ahead to the semi-final he said: “Our opponents, Russia, are
very strong so we’ll try to do our best. We’ve never won against Russia
so we hope tomorrow will be the first time.”
The sole semi-final will take place at 09:00 on Friday 13 February. The
winner will progress to the gold medal game to play China while the
loser will play Finland for the bronze medals – both games later on
that day, at 14:00 (all times EET)
In the relegation tie-breaker, the first big scoring end came for
Scotland as fourth player Gregor Ewan was left with an open draw into
the house to score three points to take a 3-1 lead after three ends of
German skip Jens Jaeger then made a takeout to score one point in the
fourth end. Thereafter, Germany stole their way to victory, stealing
four points from the next three ends.
They went on to run Scotland out of stones in the eighth end to win
6-3, relegating Scotland to the World Wheelchair Curling Qualification
event which will be held in the same venue in Lohja, Finland between
7-12 November 2015.
That event will qualify teams for the World Wheelchair Curling Championship
2016 that is taking place in Lucerne, Switzerland in February.
Three teams were relegated because Switzerland are not taking part in
this year’s World Championship but are automatically guaranteed one of
the places in the 2016 Championship as host.
SCHEDULE Friday 13 February
(all times EET) Semi-final:
Russia v Slovakia (09:00) Gold medal game:
China v winner of semi-final (14:00) Bronze medal game:
Loser of semi-final v Finland (14:00)
RESULTS Page play-offs 1v2: China
3, Russia 1 3v4:
Finland 5, Slovakia 6.
tie-breaker: Scotland 3, Germany 6.
STANDINGS After Page
play-offs and Relegation tie-breaker (W-L):
China 8-2 (To play winner of semi-final in gold medal game)
Russia 9-1 (To play Slovakia in semi-final)
Slovakia 6-4 (To play Russia in semi-final)
Finland 5-5 (To play loser of semi-final in bronze medal game)
5. USA 4-5
6. Canada 4-5
7. Germany 4-6
8. Scotland 3-7 (Relegated to WWhCQ*)
9. Sweden 3-6 (Relegated to WWhCQ*)
10. Norway 2-6 (Relegated to WWhCQ*)
*WWhCQ – World
Wheelchair Curling Qualification event