World Men's Curling Championship 2012 - Draw 5

Canada and Sweden remain unbeaten Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Sweden and Canada became the only two unbeaten teams left in the event, when they each won their third round-robin games in the fifth session of play at the World Men’s Curling Championship 2012 in Basel, Switzerland on Sunday evening.

At the same time, France recorded their second win of the day when they played Germany in their third game of the event in front of a crowd of 1,800.

The French were in control at the start of the game and, in the fourth, their fourth player Tony Angiboust tapped up one of his own stones to score two points and take a 4-1 lead.

Despite this early French control, Germany came right back into the game in the ninth end when their fourth player Felix Schulze hit out one French counter but left his own stones in the house to score three and level the game at 5-5. However, the French held on after this and scored the one point needed in the tenth for their 6-5 victory without having to play their last stone in the tenth end.

Afterwards, French skip Thomas Dufour said, “a second win of the day – that’s good. We’ll carry on getting better and we hope we will reach a good spot. I thought we made a bad choice in the ninth, we were trying to force one but we missed a little tap. We were upset about that but fortunately we did not have to play our last stone in the tenth.”

Despite the enforced absence of their injury-hit regular skip Niklas Edin, Sweden can do no wrong at present and stand-in skip Sebastian Kraupp had another good game against the Czech Republic. He played a nice raise to score three points in the second end, and then angled in to score two more in the seventh end for a 7-4 lead, which was stretched to 8-5 by the end of the game.

Following this win, Kraupp said, “it’s been a good start, but this game was up and down - we were in trouble in the seventh end. He (Jiri Snitil, Czech Republic skip) didn’t curl up with his last stone and I was able to make a hit and roll, then we were lying pretty good, so that was a key shot in the game.”

Canada might be most people’s title favourites while the USA team are appearing for the first time, but this didn’t stop USA skip Heath McCormick giving Canada a real run for their money. The Americans caused some raised eyebrows when McCormick hit for three points and a 4-2 lead in the third end. He then followed that with a well-judged hit through a port between two other stones to score one in the sixth and level the game at 5-5. But eventually, the Canadians’ superiority prevailed and they won a tighter game than most people expected, by 8-7.
Later Canadian skip Glenn Howard said, “it’s doesn’t matter that it’s tight, we just wanted to get another win under our belts. I thought we played a really good game, Heath McCormick made some unbelievable second shots that kept him in the game. He made a couple of pistols in the ninth, but we’re 3 and 0 and we couldn’t be happier. Heath made a huge bunch of shots – if he misses any one of those, it’s going to be a blow-out. But it was a great game and kudos to Team USA.”

By contrast to Canada and Sweden, hosts Switzerland are yet to win a game and they struggled against China in this session. In the second end, Chinese skip Rui Liu drew to score two for a 2-0 lead, and never really looked back after that, eventually winning by 7-4 to hand Switzerland their third successive loss.

After the game, Liu said (through a translator), “I think that we’re doing ok, we’ve been giving a performance that is of our normal level. We are doing well at our communication and situation judgement which helps us but I don’t think we are doing our performance skills so well, we need to practice. We also need to improve our psychological preparation and learn to adapt to big events like this. But I am enjoying playing in the stadium in front of so many people, and being part of the event itself.”

RESULTS

Session 5:
Germany 5, France 6; Switzerland 4, China 7; Sweden 8, Czech Republic 5; USA 7, Canada 8.

Standings after 5 sessions:
Canada 3-0
Sweden 3-0
China 2-1
Denmark 2-1
France 2-1
Scotland 2-1
Czech Republic 1-2
Germany 1-2
Norway 1-2
New Zealand 1-2
Switzerland 0-3
USA 0-3

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