Braehead, Scotland – Scotland’s 8-6 win over Germany in Tuesday (22 November) afternoon’s sixth session of women’s round-robin play in the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2016 at the intu Braehead Arena near Glasgow, Scotland, not only keeps them at the top of the standings but, maintains their unbeaten record with six wins.
In the men’s event Switzerland and Sweden lead the standings after six sessions, but with three more session of round robin games to be played there is still all to play for.
Scotland women’s win also puts them within touching distance of a semi-final place and it guarantees Scotland a place in this season’s World Women’s Curling Championship 2017 in Beijing, China (18-26 March) and thereby a chance to add to Britain’s Olympic qualifying points.
Eve Muirhead’s Scotland team were in charge throughout, opening with a score of two in the first end. The Scots went on to score a single point in the ninth end for 8-6, after which they ran Germany out of stones in the tenth end. Earlier, the Scots had beaten the world champions Switzerland by 4-3.
Sweden, who beat the Czech Republic by 8-5 in the sixth session and, earlier, Italy, by 7-6, lead the chasing pack with just one loss, and three teams – Czech Republic, Denmark and Russia share third place. With three round robin games left for all the women’s teams, Germany and Switzerland, who share sixth place, remain in the play-off hunt with all those above them on the table, while, at the foot of the table, Finland, Italy and Norway now find themselves in the relegation zone, with two teams going down to next season’s B-Division at the end of the round robin.
Earlier, in the men’s sixth round robin session, Finland recorded their first win of the week, beating Scotland by 6-5 with a last end single-point steal. Despite this they remain rooted at the bottom of the table in joint ninth place with Denmark.
Also, in this session, Switzerland beat Italy by 8-5 while defending champions Sweden had a 7-3 win over Russia, and these two teams share the leaders’ spot, each on five wins and one loss. Norway, who went down to an extra end 6-7 loss to Germany, are in third place on four wins, while four teams – Austria, Italy, Russia and Scotland - are tied for fourth place. At this stage theoretically all ten men’s teams can still aim for the semi-finals.
The live TV games on Wednesday (23 November) will be Denmark v Germany in the women’s seventh session (09.00, Greenwich Mean Time) of play; Switzerland v Norway in the men’s eighth session (12.00, GMT) and a selected game in the men’s ninth session (20.00, GMT). For live broadcast information from these championships visit, www.worldcurling.org/broadcast and www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV
They said it:
Irene Schori; third, Switzerland (after 9-8 win over Finland): “We are very happy right now. It's good to win this game but it was very tough. We were in trouble but we came out with the win so it's fine. We just, we didn't realise what the problem was! But that's curling, sometimes it happens like that. We tried to stay focused and we managed to win.”
Victoria Moiseeva; skip, Russia (after 6-5 win over Norway): “That was a good game and we were a little better and a little luckier in the beginning and then we just kept what we have and that worked.”
Sofia Mabergs; lead, Sweden (after 8-5 win over Czech Republic): “They are such strong individuals [our third and skip] that they will get there themselves in the end. But that being said, we [lead and second] will always continue to encourage them and help them any way we can. [Tomorrow,] we will also need to increase our playing percentages from this past game. If we can get our rocks in good spots, then hopefully we can put some real pressure on them [Switzerland].”
Aku Kauste; skip, Finland (after 6-5 win over Scotland): “It is really good to finally get our first win. Our games have been a struggle after struggle so far. This game could have gone either way, but Thomas [Brewster, Scotland skip] seemed to be struggling with his takeouts and we got a luck break at the end. We still have three games left and we must win all of them to stay in the hunt for a world championship place.”
Daniel Herberg; second, Germany (after 7-6 win over Norway): “We started the week not good, but after getting the win against Denmark yesterday it gets better for us. Today, it was a big win for us playing against Thomas Ulsrud, who always plays good curling. Wining in the extra end makes it even better.”
Sebastian Wunderer; skip, Austria (after 9-3 win over Denmark): That feels pretty great – we now look pretty good for staying in the A-Division and that would be our target achieved. It feels good to achieve what others at home expect from us and hope for. One more victory would be nice, we’ll try to make the games close and we’ll be fighting all the way. Niklas Edin [Sweden’s defending champion] will not have it easy, I hope!”