Day four at the #WMDCC2019

  • Croatia’s Iva Penava © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

The World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2019 in the Sørmarka Arena in Stavanger, Norway continues on Tuesday with the fourth day of round-robin games.

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S19: Spain, Japan, Canada and United States secure fifth wins

Spain handily won against Russia in Tuesday night’s session 19 of the round robin, winning by a score of 11-5 after seven ends to maintain their perfect record of 5-0, in Group F.

“Suddenly we have done probably our best game in mixed doubles in our life,” said Spain’s Mikel Unanue. “I think that we have to refocus our goals and, why not? We can probably beat anybody. Of course, we know that we are not the best team. But, I think that with the help of our coach Steffen [Walstad, Norway] we are going to achieve more things.”

He added, “I think we have received more than we have given to curling. The only thing we can do now is just give our best and say to all the countries that anything is possible.”

Also unbeaten in Group F are United States after a 12-3 win against Slovenia. Latvia won against Kosovo 12-2 to improve to a 2-3 record. Poland tied Latvia’s record after an 8-2 win against Greece.

In Group A, Japan maintained their perfect record with a 9-3 win over Hong Kong. After a back-and-forth battle between two unbeaten teams, Canada handed Sweden their first loss when Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg came up light on a final draw to the button.

“We knew that was a big game,” said Canada’s Jocelyn Peterman. She added, “Hopefully we’ll be playing against them later in the week.”

Results session 19: Russia 5-11 Spain; Hong Kong 3-9 Japan; Poland 8-2 Greece; Latvia 12-2 Kosovo; Canada 7-6 Sweden; Slovenia 3-12 United States

Spain’s Mikel Unanue, © WCF / Tom Rowland

S18: Two time world champions Hungary stay undefeated

Group E’s Finland and Kazakhstan were locked in a tight match during Tuesday evening’s session 18 of the round robin, when Finland forced an extra end after coming from behind to score four points in the eighth end. Kazakhstan were able to take one point in the ninth end, winning by a score of 8-7.

Improving to a 3-2 record in Group E, New Zealand won against Qatar by a score of 15-2. Still winless, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, who lost to Ireland by 2-14, are at the bottom of Group E.

“We are happy to be here in Mixed Doubles Worlds,” said Qatar’s Mabarka Al-Abdulla after the game. “We get more experience and we learn more than before in curling.”

Hungary continue undefeated in Group B, winning against Switzerland 10-3. England beat Korea 9-4 in seven ends of play.

“After the fifth end we had a good shot to spin all the yellows out of the house, which really helped. Then, from there, we were on a bit more of a defensive game,” said England’s Ben Fowler.

Chinese Taipei won their second match of the championship with an 8-6 win over Guyana, moving into fifth spot in Group B with a 2-3 record.

Results session 18: Finland 7-8 Kazakhstan; Switzerland 3-10 Hungary; New Zealand 15-2 Qatar; Saudi Arabia 2-14 Ireland; Guyana 6-8 Chinese Taipei; England 9-4 Korea

England’s Anna Fowler and Ben Fowler © WCF / Jason Bennett

S17: Belgium and Slovakia gain first victories in Norway

Belgium and Slovakia celebrated their first wins of the week so far – in Belgium’s case a first-ever win – by 8-3 over Mexico, while Slovakia beat Lithuania by 8-7 in an extra end. These wins came in Tuesday afternoon’s 17th round-robin session of the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2019.

After their team’s historic win, Belgium’s Veerle Geerinckx said, “Finally we’ve won one game, so we feel very happy now. The first countries we met were very strong and this one was of our level, so we managed to get along – our stones were ok and our strategy was ok.” Meanwhile, Dirk Heylen said, “It’s the first win for Belgium in mixed doubles, so we’re very proud to achieve that.”

Also, in Group D, Scotland beat Germany by 8-5, while Olympic bronze medallists Norway were 8-4 winners over Estonia. These results mean that Norway and Scotland now stand together at the top of the table in the group, on five wins and no losses. Scotland’s win was a 100th game representing his country for Scott Andrews.

In the two Group B games, Turkey beat Austria by 5-4, while Brazil were 10-4 winners over Netherlands. After this win, Brazil’s Marcio Cerquinho said, “That’s a win we needed. There are no easy games and you have to be able to win all the games you can. This win will give us the confidence that we need.”

Results session 17: Estonia 4-8 Norway; Austria 4-5 Turkey; Lithuania 7-8 Slovakia; Belgium 8-3 Mexico; Brazil 10-4 Netherlands; Scotland 8-5 Germany

Silvia Sykorova and Marek Sykora of Slovakia @WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

S16: Group F taking shape with Russia, Spain and United States in front

All eight teams in Group F were on the ice for this session, and, as in the other groups, it’s getting tight at the top, with Spain beating Latvia by 7-4, United States beating Kosovo by 11-0 and Russia beating Poland by 9-3. These teams all remain undefeated, on four wins in joint top spot.

Afterwards, Spain’s Mikel Unanue explained how his team had approached the campaign. He said, “That was a really big game for us. We knew months ago that Latvia was going to be the breaking point for us. We’ve been focussed a lot on the first three games and we’ve been trying to do as best as possible. Now that we are on the right path, we can think both Russia and United States are beatable – why not? We are Spain, and maybe we are not on the curling map but, we know what we have come to and are sure that we can do it.”

Russia’s Alexander Eremin agreed about the challenge. He said, “We will need our top game now. We have games against Spain and the United States now. Spain are a good team and America’s John Shuster is the Olympic champion. They will not be easy, but it’s good to be here to try.”

In the fourth game of Group F, Slovenia beat Greece by 9-3 for their second win, while, in the Group A games that took place, Canada beat Denmark by 11-5 and Sweden beat Ukraine by 13-2 to join Japan at the top of the table, all on four wins and no losses.

Results session 16: Denmark 5-11 Canada; Spain 7-4 Latvia; Kosovo 0-11 United States; Greece 3-9 Slovenia; Russia 9-3 Poland; Sweden 13-2 Ukraine

Russia’s Alexander Eremin, © WCF / Tom Rowland

S15: Croatia win first ever world mixed doubles game

Croatia beat Nigeria by 7-4 in Tuesday morning’s 15th round-robin session of the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2019, and this was a first win for the Croatians in their Member Association’s third appearance at this event.

Speaking afterwards Dario Vukovic said, “That’s our first victory ever, so that makes us very proud. I think it’s a great honour and opportunity to represent our country. We’re not satisfied with our games because we feel we can play a lot better, but it still feels amazing. Nigeria also played well, it was a tight game.”

All eight teams in Group B played in this session, with China beating France by 12-1, Italy overcoming previously unbeaten Wales by 12-3 and Australia beating Czech Republic with a last end single steal, 6-5. These results leave a three-way tie among China, Italy and Wales at the top of the table on three wins, with Australia, Czech Republic and France just one win behind them. As Australia’s Dean Hewitt said, “It’s a really tight ball-game here, you can see that in all the games – anyone can beat anyone. Our pool is really tight and you have to work really hard for it.”

In the other games in this session, Japan beat Belarus by 11-2 to move to the top of Group A, while, in the same group, Romania had their first win, beating Hong Kong by 9-8 after an extra end.

Results session 15: Japan 11-2 Belarus; Croatia 7-4 Nigeria; China 12-1 France; Wales 3-12 Italy; Czech Republic 5-6 Australia; Romania 9-8 Hong Kong