Australia, Czech Republic, Japan and Sweden advance quarter-finals

  • Australia’s Tahli Gill © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

The play-off stage of the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2019 got underway on Friday morning at the Sømarka Arena with the first session of last 16 games. Advancing to the quarter finals after winning this morning are Australia, Sweden, Japan and Czech Republic.

“We’re just over the moon,” said Australia’s Tahli Gill. “Our goal was to make the top 16 and last night we just said, ‘alright, let’s keep going and aiming for higher and higher.’”

Australia beat defending champions Switzerland 8-1 after six ends. They’ll advance to play Japan who won 9-4 against Hungary. Though Hungary were able to score three points in the sixth end, bringing the score to 5-4, Japan performed under pressure to secure the win.

“We had a good start in the first half of the game but we struggled with ice,” said Japan’s Olympic women’s bronze medallist Satsuki Fujisawa, noting the sixth and seventh ends were difficult to remain positive in. “But we had a good finish in the last end,” she said.

Also advancing are Sweden, who won 9-4 over New Zealand.

“That was a challenging game,” said Sweden’s Olympic women’s gold medallist Anna Hasselborg. “We were really in big trouble the first end, had to bail out on my last and fortunately we made it. Then after that we started to play really well, but this was a much tighter game than the numbers showed. Every game here is tight, like mixed doubles is.”

Sweden will face Czech Republic next. The Czechs are advancing after winning 5-4 against Norway. Though Czech Republic had controlled much of the game, the score was tied 4-4 in the last end. With a stone to play, Norway were sitting closest to the button, but the Czechs had hammer and used it to nudge Norway off the button and take one point and the win.

“I was nervous from the second half when I missed a key shot in the fourth end,” said Czech Republic’s Zuzana Paulova. The nerves melted away for the last crucial shot that secured them the win, she said, “I knew how to give it ice, I knew how fast I should throw, the set up was OK for me.”

Quarter-final line-ups so far: Sweden v Czech Republic; Australia v Japan

Results last 16 session one: New Zealand 4-9 Sweden; Australia 8-1 Switzerland; Japan 9-4 Hungary; Czech Republic 5-4 Norway

You can follow the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2019 on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (@WorldCurlingFederation) and by searching the hashtags #WMDCC2019 #curling