Hyeji Jang
Hyeji Jang, Korea. Photo © NZ Curling / Rob Potter

28 Aug 2017 – A big five point end early in their game against Spain propelled Korea to their fifth straight win on the third day of the Audi quattro Winter Games Mixed Doubles curling tournament in Naseby today.

Korea’s Kijeong Lee was looking ahead. “Our first goal here was to reach the playoffs,” he said after their game. “Now we would like to qualify top, to go direct [to semifinals]."

"We are getting more used to the ice conditions, our hits and runbacks are working well, and now we want to work more on our draw shots.”

In the same pool, wins to Norway and Scotland put them at the head of the chasing pack for a top-three place that would get them into the playoff matches.

Audi quattro Winter Games NZ 2017
  •  Audi quattro Winter Games NZ website
  •  2017 Mixed Doubles curling tournament

Both have dropped just one game, and they will meet in a crunch match tonight. Switzerland beat the young New Zealand 3 side to keep their hopes alive.

The other eight team pool played in today’s early morning round. Wins to Canada and Hungary left them well placed for progressing to the medal games. Behind them, Estonia, Finland and Japan all have their chances.

Australia 1 also kept their hopes alive with a good win against the young Chinese side.

“That was a special win for us this morning,” said Australia’s Lynn Hewitt when the teams came off the ice. “I know this wasn’t the same pair as at the World Championships, but I can’t remember the last time any Australian curling team beat a Chinese side.”

“We’re feeling good,” she continued. “We feel like we’re in it now, we’ve given ourselves a chance. We just have play good shots, keep hitting the broom with the right weight.”

The last round of pool games will be played tomorrow at Naseby’s Maniototo Curling International rink, with the top three in each pool progressing to playoffs. The gold medal match on Wednesday afternoon will be televised live on TVNZ Duke.

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