World Men's Curling Championship 2012 - Draw 15

Norway kept up their winning form this morning Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

The results from Thursday morning’s session of round-robin play at the World Men’s Curling Championship left five teams still in with a chance of joining already-qualified Canada in the weekend medal games.

One of these teams was Scotland, who beat the Czech Republic by 9-6, and the worst last year’s silver medallists can now do is to be dragged into a tie-breaker should they lose their final round-robin game against the USA.

The Scots effectively sealed their win in the ninth end when skip Tom Brewster tapped back a Czech stone to score two points for an 8-6 lead on the way to victory. Afterwards, Brewster conceded: “I was worried all the way through the tenth end! But we’ve got to be happy - ice conditions are challenging, we’re making a lot of shots, so we just need to keep going.”

As well as keeping their own chances alive with a 6-3 win, Sweden ended Denmark’s medal campaign. In the winner-takes-all game between these two nations, Danish skip Rasmus Stjerne fought all the way, scoring one point in the third end with a double take-out. But, in the ninth end, Swedish skip Niklas Edin, who had to have treatment for a back injury during the game, drew nicely to score two, helping the game to slip away from his Danish opponents.

Before going back for physiotherapy, Edin said: “That was an important one. We knew we had to win the last two and we’re pleased that we’re on our way. It was a close game and he played some key shots. We had to really execute at the end to win the game.”

Speaking about his own physical challenge, he added: “This game wasn’t the most fun to play, it was kind of painful, but I wanted to fight through it so that we could win. I’ll rest up now, but we’re really happy with the win.”

Meanwhile New Zealand’s 6-4 win over China gave them their sixth victory of the week – a best-ever performance at a World Men’s Championship by a New Zealand team. In the third end, New Zealand skip Peter de Boer hit to score one point for a 2-1 lead and eventually, in the tenth end, he left his Chinese opposite number Rui Liu with an almost impossible raided take-out which slid too far, giving New Zealand a steal of one point and their historic victory. Despite this loss, China still stay in the medal hunt, as do New Zealand, as they both go into their concluding round-robin games.

On breaking the record for the most number of New Zealand games won at a World Curling Championship, de Boer said: “That’s nice, but it’s about Olympic points and doing as well as we can. That was a great game. I couldn’t have walked and placed the last stone better, we left him with almost no shot.”

Norway are also still in the medal hunt, and they beat hosts Switzerland by 6-4 to keep their hopes alive. They moved into a clear lead in the fourth end when skip Thomas Ulsrud drew for one point and a 3-1 lead. But Switzerland did not give up easily, with fourth player Toni Mueller scoring one point in the fifth end with a double take-out. But despite the best Swiss efforts Norway eventually won.

After the game, a relieved Ulsrud said: “We’re still alive after a terrible start. That was a big win for us and we’re in the mix. If we win against France then we’ll play on Saturday but at least it’s in our own hands. We’re not depending on anyone else and that was our main goal when we came here.”

RESULTS

Session 15: Scotland 9, Czech Republic 6; Denmark 3, Sweden 6; New Zealand 6, China 4; Norway 6, Switzerland 4.

Standings after session 15:
1.Canada 9-0 (qualified for play offs)
2. Norway 7-3
2. Scotland 7-3
4. China 6-4
4. New Zealand 6-4
4. Sweden 6-4
7. Denmark 5-5
8. France 3-6
8. USA 3-6
10. Germany 2-7
11. Czech Republic 2-8
11. Switzerland 2-8

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