Switzerland go two-from-two as 2016 medal nations open with wins

  • Team China - Rui Wang and Dexin Ba - who won silver medals in 2016 Photo: © WCF / Céline Stucki

Session three, on Saturday (22 April) afternoon, at the World Mixed Doubles Championship 2017 – being held in Lethbridge, Canada’s, ATB Centre – featured several high-scoring games.

The Scotland pair, of Gina Aitken and Bruce Mouat, opened with a win over Norway 6-3, which was helped largely by single stolen points in the sixth and seventh ends.

Poland beat Netherlands after a back and forth battle, which ended 9-5, while Denmark beat Bulgaria 11-1. Wales won against Serbia 11-3 and 2016 bronze medal nation, USA – who are represented by brother and sister Matt and Becca Hamilton – beat Kazakhstan 13-1.

Session four, the final session of the opening day, featured a key match-up between 2016 silver medallists, China and Sweden. China won this game 8-4 when they built up a house full of stones, which presented Sweden with an almost impossible final shot and only a matter of second left on the clock. China stole two points from the end. China’s 2016 medallists Dexin Ba and Rui Wang return to Lethbridge this year, fresh off the back of representing their Member Association at the World Curling Championships 2017 in Beijing, China and Edmonton, Canada.

Switzerland – Martin Rios [pictured below, © WCF / Richard Gray] and Jenny Perret – won their second match of the day against Romania 11-6. They now sit at the top of their pool – group E.

Italy stole the win from Ireland, with two points in the eighth end, after Ireland missed their final takeout. Italy won 5-4.

Both Austria and Korea won with lofty scores. Korea came out with an 8-1 win over Australia and Austria won 9-2 against Israel.

They said it

Damian Herman; Poland (after 9-5 win over Netherlands): “As always, the first game is tough reading the ice, but we felt we did it quite well. We had mistakes, but fortunately our opponents had a few more. We’re always looking for the win but we’ve got a very tough group. We’ll do our best to achieve our goals.”

Gina Aitken; Scotland (after 6-3 win over Norway): “It’s really exciting to be here. It’s going to be a great competition, there’s lots of strong teams and it’s good to get the first game under our belts. The rules have changed so that makes a difference to how we play.”

Matt Hamilton; USA (after 13-1 win over Kazakhstan): All we wanted to do was come out here, get a good feel for the ice, gain some confidence, make some shots. We weren’t as sharp as we wanted to be, but this was a fortunate draw to start with, where we could get away with missing a couple here and there. [Regarding Olympic qualification] we’ve been told where we need to finish. But, we’re coming here to win a gold medal. We’re coming here to podium — hopefully at the top of it. So, if we take care of the business we want to take care of, then the Olympics will fall into line.”

Kijeong Lee; Korea (after 8-1 win over Australia): “It’s pretty tough because it was the first game, and I still am in trouble with jet lag and I was quite nervous. I would like to be at least second ranked in our pool. It was fine even though it was the first game for us, we didn’t understand the ice quite well but it was fine.”

Rui Wang [translated by teammate Dexin Ba]; China (after 8-4 win over Sweden): “The ice was really good and it had a nice curl. We really like this.”

Martin Rios; Switzerland (after 11-6 win over Romania): “We had a good start in the morning draw [against Slovakia] and played six really good ends. We can still play better and improve. Most importantly we have gotten to know the ice – get used to it and know the rocks. It was a learning day.”

Results after session three: Denmark 11-1 Bulgaria; Wales 11-3 Serbia; Poland 9-5 Netherlands; Norway 3-6 Scotland; Kazakhstan 1-13 USA

Results after session four: Korea 8-1 Australia; Austria 9-2 Israel; Sweden 4-8 China; Ireland 4-5 Italy; Switzerland 11-6 Romania

Standings: visit http://www.worldcurling.org/wmdcc2017/livescores

Curling fans around the world will be able to follow live coverage of this championship on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

Live broadcast coverage may be geo-blocked in your region. For all broadcast information visit, www.worldcurling.org/broadcast

To keep up-to-date with all the action from the WMDCC 2017, and the teams’ journey to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags: #WMDCC2017 #Roadto2018 #curling

WCTV highlights next live game: Estonia v Finland (Sunday 23 April at 14.30, -6 UTC)