Switzerland move into clear lead after second mixed doubles session

  • Switzerland win again to top the standings Photo © WCF / Richard Gray

Current world champions Switzerland stand alone at the top of the table after the two sessions of round-robin play on the first day of mixed doubles curling at the Gangneung Curling Centre.

Switzerland beat Finland by 7-6 in Thursday evening's play. Other winners in this session were China, who had an extra-end 8-7 win over Korea; the Olympic Athlete from Russia team, who beat Norway by 4-3; and Canada, who were 6-4 winners over United States.

The Swiss pair started well. They had four stones in the house when Finland's Oona Kauste came to play the last stone of the first end. She could only remove two stones to give Switzerland a two-point steal. Another single-point steal gave Switzerland a 3-0 lead after two ends.

Following this, Finland fought back to level the game at 6-6 after seven ends, but Switzerland's Jenny Perret kept her nerve to score the one point needed for the 7-6 win that keeps her team's record intact.

China started with the upper hand in their game against Korea, with Rui Wang drawing her final stone of the first end into position to score two points. China then took a 6-1 lead into the break, but Korea responded in the fifth end when Hyeji Jang played a delicate tap-up to score four points and reduce China's lead to 6-5.

Eventually, the game went to an extra-end but Jang's last-stone draw was too strong and just slipped past the Chinese counter already sitting just off the button, giving China an 8-7 win.

The game between the Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) team and Norway was another tight affair which went down to the last stone of the last end.

In the first end, neither the teams nor the umpires could decide which of two stones lying on the button was scoring and, without physically being able to take a measure, the end was agreed to have no score.

However, an umpire's measure was needed in the second end to let the OAR team open the scoring with a single point. Eventually, the OAR winning shot was a tap-up to promote their own stone inside a Norway stone just touching the button. This gave OAR a 4-3 win.

Canada faced United States in the fourth game of the session.

This was close in the first half, with the teams level at 2-2 at the fourth-end break. Canada made a breakthrough with a score of three points in the fifth end for a 5-2 lead.

However, United States responded, scoring one point in the sixth end and stealing another single point in the seventh end when Canada's Kaitlin Lawes wrecked her final draw on a guard.

However, Lawes made amends in the eighth end with a better-executed draw that gave her team a score of one point the end and a 6-4 win.

These results mean that Switzerland have two wins while Finland have suffered two losses. All the other six teams have one win and one loss each.

For flash quotes from the opening day of the mixed doubles competition visit http://www.wcf.co/2ENXkQ5

Mixed doubles session two results: Finland 6-7 Switzerland; Korea 7-8 China; Olympic Athlete from Russia 4-3 Norway; United States 4-6 Canada.

Standings after mixed doubles session two (win-loss):

Switzerland 2-0
Canada 1-1
China 1-1
Korea 1-1
Norway 1-1
Olympic Athlete from Russia 1-1
United States 1-1
Finland 0-2

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