Day six at the #WMDCC2019 - qualification day

  • Finland’s Elina Virtaala and Tomi Rantamaeki © WCF / Tom Rowland

Thursday is the final day of round-robin games at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2019 in the Sørmarka Arena in Stavanger, Norway. At the start of the day, only three teams had so far secured qualification, meaning another 13 were to be determined in the final four sessions of group games.

Here’s a reminder of the qualification format:

From the record 48-teams competing at this championship, only 16 teams will progress to the play-offs. The teams in first and second place in the six groups after the round-robin will qualify. So, will the four third-placed teams with the best Draw Shot Challenge results. The play-off teams will all secure a place in next season’s new 20-team World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship.

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S28: Play-off picture set as curtain closes on round-robin stage

In Group F of the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2019, Spain beat Slovenia by 6-1 while Russia also won by 5-4 over previously unbeaten United States.

These results, in Thursday evening’s 28th and final round-robin session, confirmed the final two qualifiers for the round of 16 – Spain and United States, with Russia having secured qualification earlier. In addition, all of these teams have now also qualified directly for next year’s 20-team world championship line-up in Kelowna, Canada. The qualifiers are:

Group A: Sweden, Canada, Japan

Group B: Hungary, Switzerland

Group C: Australia, Czech Republic

Group D: Estonia, Norway, Scotland

Group E: England, Finland, New Zealand

Group F: Russia, United States, Spain

In other games in this session, Romania beat Ukraine by 9-4; Poland were 10-2 winners over Kosovo;
Latvia beat Greece by 9-5 and Belarus were 7-6 winners over Denmark.

With the round-robin complete, the round of 16 draw will be split into a morning and afternoon session.

Playing at 09:00 local time are:

Sweden (ranked 1st) v New Zealand (16th); Norway (8th) v Czech Republic (9th); Australia (5th) v Switzerland (12th); Hungary (4th) v Japan (13th);

Playing at 13:00 local time are:

Estonia (3rd) v Scotland (14th); England (6th) v United States (11th); Canada (7th) v Finland (10th); Russia (2nd) v Spain (15th)

Results Session 28: Romania 9-4 Ukraine; Kosovo 2-10 Poland; Spain 6-1 Slovenia; Russia 5-4 United Sates; Greece 5-9 Latvia; Denmark 6-7 Belarus

Russia’s Anastasia Moskaleva and American Cory Christensen © WCF / Jason Bennett

S27: Historic win for Nigeria as seven more teams reach the play-offs

After Thursday afternoon’s second-last round-robin session at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2019 seven more teams qualified for the weekend’s play-off games, as well as for next year’s world championship.

They are, Sweden, Canada, Japan (Group A), Australia, Czech Republic (Group C), New Zealand (Group E) and Russia (Group F).

The teams in Group C completed their programmes in this session, with Australia beating Italy, by 7-3, and Czech Republic beating Wales by 15-2, while China were 10-2 winners over Croatia. This left four teams – Australia, Czech Republic, Italy and China – on the same won five, lost two record. On the basis of head-to-head results among these four, Australia ranked first and Czech Republic finished second to qualify. Although Italy finished third, their Draw Shot Challenge result was not good enough to give them one of the places in the play-off line-up reserved for the four best third-placed finishers.

In fact, results from this session confirmed New Zealand – who had finished in third place in Group E in an earlier session – as qualified for the play-off line-up.

In Group A, Sweden beat Hong Kong by 11-1, while Japan beat previously undefeated Canada by 9-7. These results mean that Canada, Japan and Sweden all finished in joint top spot on six wins and one loss. However, with two more games still to be played by the other teams in this group, the final ranking among them will not be applied until those games are over. However, all three – Canada, Japan and Sweden – have qualified.

Group F is still to be played out in the last round-robin session, but even before those games take place, Russia’s Draw Shot Challenge position is so strong that they are assured a place in the last 16 teams and are qualified.

Meanwhile, with all of these qualification battles going on, Nigeria made history by beating France by 8-5 – a first world-level victory by an African Member Association. After this historic win, a delighted Tijani Cole, said, “I am feeling ecstatic. I am excited. To all my countrymen at home, we did it. We did it.” He continued, “Our motto, as you can see on our brooms, is ‘we won’t be outworked’. It’s something we look at every day and we say as long as we don’t get outworked, we are proud of what we do.”

Results session 27: Hong Kong 1-11 Sweden; Italy 3-7 Australia; Czech Republic 15-2 Wales; Croatia 2-10 China; Nigeria 8-5 France; Japan 9-7 Canada

S26: Estonia, Norway and Scotland latest to qualify

Another two of the six groups in the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2019 concluded in Thursday afternoon’s 26th round-robin session and three more teams have now sealed their places in the last 16 play-offs – Estonia, Norway and Scotland.

A total of seven places have been decided so far.

In Group D, Scotland beat Norway by 7-6 after an extra end, with Estonia beating Germany by 8-3.

In the same section, Lithuania were 12-7 winners over Mexico, while Slovakia were awarded a win over absent Belgium. These results meant that Estonia, Norway and Scotland all finished on six wins and one loss and the Draw Shot Challenge protocol put them in that order. This meant that leaders Estonia and Norway were both guaranteed play-off slots, while third-place Scotland would need to put their Last Stone Draw record on the line against the eventual five other third-placed teams.

In Group B, Hungary and Switzerland sat this session out but had already qualified in first and second place, leaving only third place to be decided. Although Australia had an 11-2 win over Netherlands, Turkey beat Brazil by 8-5, giving Turkey third place in this group.

With three groups now completed, three third-placed teams have been identified – New Zealand, Scotland and Turkey. Of these Scotland has the best Draw Shot Challenge total and will therefore at worst finish fourth of the six third-placed team, guaranteeing them at least 16th place overall, a place in the play-offs, and a direct place in next year’s championship. After all this, Scotland’s Scott Andrews said, “It’s now just waiting to see which third place we are and then who we get to play in the last 16. We’ll just wait and watch.”

Results session 26: Austria 11-2 Netherlands; Mexico 7-12 Lithuania; Norway 6-7 Scotland; Estonia 8-3 Germany; Slovakia W-L Belgium; Turkey 8-5 Brazil

Scotland’s Gina Aitken, © WCF / Tom Rowland

S25: New Zealand await qualification fate as Finland secure play-off place

The World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2019 has turned into a waiting game for Bridget and Sean Becker of New Zealand.

All eight teams in Group E were in action in Thursday morning’s 25th round-robin session and, as it happened, the New Zealanders were the first to win, by 14-2 over Saudi Arabia. That meant they had to wait to see how other results would go to find out if their campaign was still alive.

Then, with Korea beating Kazakhstan by 9-0, and Finland having an extra end 7-6 win over group leaders England, New Zealand emerged in third place in their group, behind England and Finland, who qualify for the knock-out stages.

Now, with only four of the six third-placed teams among all the groups going onto the round of 16, New Zealand have another day-long wait to discover whether they will play again and, more importantly, with only the top 16 teams qualifying directly for next year, whether they have sealed a direct place in next year’s world championship line-up.

In reaction to all this, Sean Becker said, “It’d be nice to put yourself in the position of qualifying. When you have to watch other games to know your fate in a world championship, it’s not much fun.” More generally, he added, “I wouldn’t say we’ve been outstanding. We’ve had some roughies and we’ve had some good games, so it wasn’t a very consistent effort. I think the level’s getting better and better all the time, so overall, we’re pretty happy.”

In other games in this session, Hungary beat Guyana by 10-5 and Switzerland had a 7-5 win over Chinese Taipei, to consolidate their positions as the top two teams in Group B, headed for the round of 16, and next year’s championship, to be held in Kelowna, Canada.

Results session 25: Chinese Taipei 5-7 Switzerland; Qatar 3-9 Ireland; England 6-7 Finland; Korea 9-0 Kazakhstan; New Zealand 14-2 Saudi Arabia; Hungary 10-5 Guyana