2015 PAJCC
Korea men beat China 5-4. Photo: © NZ Curling / Ashleigh Smith
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24 Jan 2015 – New Zealand's Women secured the bronze medal on the final day of competition at the Pacific-Asia Junior Curling Championships 2015 in Naseby, Central Otago.

Korea’s Men and Women have qualified for the World Junior Curling Championships after their wins in the gold medal games

Both Korean side won semi-finals earlier in the day to face China. The Chinese sides had direct entry into the final after topping their round robin leaderboards.

In the Men’s final Team Korea was one behind as they started the last end. After China’s last draw was heavy, Korea found themselves sitting one shot up, and with an open draw into the 8-foot ring for a second point to win. Vigorous sweeping coaxed their stone in to earn Korea’s men a 5-4 victory and their first Pacific-Asia title in 10 years.

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After their win, Korea skip Lee Ki Jeong said, “Our teamwork out there was great”. Looking forward to the challenge of the World Junior Championships just a month away he added, “However we still need to work on our concentration, especially through the middle part of the game.”

The Women’s final was tied at 3-3 after eight ends. Korea stole one point in the ninth, so in the tenth end China were one down and with last stone advantage. With just their last stone to come they held one shot but the attempted draw for the win came up agonisingly short, so the scores were tied.

In the extra end China sat two up with Korea’s final draw to come. It looked a little light, but with all four Korean players sweeping frantically for the last few metres, they crept their stone in to cut the 8-foot ring for the win.

Korea’s skip Kim Eun Bi was looking forward to the World Juniors in Estonia after their 5-4 victory. “This feels great,” she said. “Now we will analyse this competition and our strategy here, and try to improve for the Worlds.”

The Korea women’s semi-final against New Zealand was level at 3-3 seven ends. Korea seized the advantage with a perfectly executed angled raise takeout for 2 in the eighth. They stole 2 more in the ninth after a New Zealand stone was removed for a double touch, and the sides shook hands at 7-3.

In the morning’s semi-finals Korea’s men got an early lead over Japan, and were 3-0 up after three ends. From there they kept control of the match, but still needed to hit a partially guarded stone with the last shot of the game to secure their 5-3 win.

The first Pacific-Asia Junior Championships were held in 2005 in Japan, but this will be the last. This event and the European Junior Challenge will be replaced by the new World Junior “B” Championships from next year, with the first to be held in Kisakallio, Finland 3-9 January 2016.


RESULTS

Men

Semi-Final: Korea 5, Japan 3
Final: Korea 5, China 4

Final Standings (W-L):
1. Korea 8-2 (Gold medal, qualified for World Junior Curling Championship 2015)
2. China 7-2 (Silver medal)
3. Japan 3-6 (Bronze medal)
4. New Zealand 2-6
5. Australia 2-6

Women

Semi-Final: Korea 7, New Zealand 3
Final: Korea 5, China 4

Final Standings (W-L):
1. Korea 8-2 (Gold medal, qualified for World Junior Curling Championship 2015)
2. China 8-1 (Silver medal)
3. New Zealand 4-6 (Bronze medal)
4. Japan 3-6
5. Australia 0-8


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