World Men's Curling Championship 2012 - Draw 12

Skip Thomas Ulsrud helped Norway keep up their winning form Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Norway kept themselves in the hunt for medals when they beat China 7-5 in Wednesday morning’s twelfth session of round-robin play at the World Men’s Curling Championship in Basel, Switzerland.

In the eighth end of this game, Norway skip Thomas Ulsrud played a nice-draw around a front guard to score two points and level the game at 5-5. He eventually sealed the win with a hit and stay in the tenth, to score one for a 7-5 victory.

Afterwards Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud, said: “That was a tough one. The Chinese guys were playing really well. I have to be honest and say that we were a bit lucky in the ninth and tenth ends”. Referring back to his three early losses at the start of the week, he said: “I hope someone can tell me how we can start off playing this well straight away - it wouldn’t get us in all of this trouble. We still have four tough matches left and we have to win them all to get in there.”

New Zealand’s 9-6 win over Switzerland gave them their fifth victory of the event so far, which equals New Zealand’s best-ever performance at this level, and they still have three more round-robin games left to improve on that.

In the fourth end New Zealand skip Peter de Boer played a draw-shot for three points to take the lead for the first time in the game at 4-3, and he scored three again in the seventh end on his way to victory – a result that puts Switzerland’s medal campaign to an end.

A celebrating New Zealand skip Peter de Boer said: “We’ve got some nice momentum going. We ground that out, we were pretty ugly in a couple of ends and very fortunate in the fourth when their stone picked up, which gave us the chance of three.” He added: “This keeps us right in the middle but our ultimate goal is gaining Olympic qualification points. A top half finish here maybe gets us a toe on the plane to the Olympics. We just need to continue it and who knows?”

By contrast to Switzerland, Denmark kept their faint medal hopes alive with a 9-8 win over the Czech Republic, which they finally sealed in the tenth end when their skip Rasmus Stjerne hit and stayed with the last stone of the game.

After the game Stjerne said: “That’s good back-to-back wins and we needed that. We’re only on four wins now and we’re still in the hunt, but our main goal is to take home as many Olympic points as we can. If we can find our way back to the game we had at the beginning of the week, we can perhaps make the Play-offs, but right now we’re just going to worry about one game at a time.”

Sweden had lost their previous two games before they faced Scotland in this session, and, for this game, they brought their previously-injured skip Niklas Edin onto the ice for the first time this week.

He drew for one point in the fourth end to keep his team in the game, but the Swedes had no answer to a very strong Scotland team performance. Skip, Tom Brewster, delivered a precision draw onto the button in the fifth end to score three points and send his team to their sixth win and second place on the rankings behind unbeaten Canada, who sat this session out.

Speaking about the fifth end, Scottish skip Brewster said: “That was two great freezes from Greg (third player Greg Drummond) and then I had to draw to the button for the third. We were pretty solid the whole game. In fact we’ve been pretty solid in the last two games - a bit different from the French game when we were absolute pants. We’ll forget about what the other teams are doing, and just try to keep winning.”

RESULTS

Session 12: Norway 7, China 5; New Zealand 9, Switzerland 6; Denmark 9, Czech Republic 8; Scotland 7, Sweden 4.

Standings after 12 sessions:
1. Canada 7-0
2. Scotland 6-2
3. China 5-3
3. Norway 5-3
3. New Zealand 5-3
3. Sweden 5-3
7. Denmark 4-4
8. France 3-4
9. Germany 2-5
9. USA 2-5
11. Czech Republic 1-7
11. Switzerland 1-7

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