25 Nov 2012 – It was China's day at the finals of the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships in Naseby today. Their defending champions in the the men's and women's competitions both won their gold medal matches.
Women's silver went to Japan, and the young Korean side took the bronze medal. Japan were also the men's silver medalists, while Australia won the bronze medal match.
There was never more than a point between Japan and China in the first half of the women's final. Satsuke Fujisawa for Japan made the shot of the game in the fifth end, coming around a guard with her last stone and executing a perfect triple run-back to sit on the button, score one and level the scores at 3-3.
|Chinese skip Bingyu Wang. Photo © WCF / Simon East|
The game turned just one end later. An attempted tap-back by Japan was just wide, leaving China a straight hit to take four. When they made another three points in the eighth end the teams shook hands at 10-4, and China had successfully defended their Pacific-Asia title.
China's skip Bingyu Wang said after the match, "It's great to win gold one more time. It was a very important win for us because at the last World Championship we didn't play well. I think we needed a win to get our confidence back and we have done that here by winning the gold medal."
Japanese skip Satsuke Fujisawa was not too downbeat. "We are still very happy that Japan has qualified for the World Women's Curling Championship next year," she said. "But we would have liked a closer game today. We will need to improve our strategy and tactics to beat the experienced teams like China, they played very well."
When asked what was ahead for her side she replied, "At home there will be a World Championship trial with the Japan National Championship. The winner of that will be the team that goes to Latvia so we have to play very well."
A pair of two point ends helped Korea establish control early in the bronze medal match, and they led Australia 5-1 at the fifth end break. Australia didn't give up, scoring one in the sixth end and stealing the next. It was game over in the eighth end though when Korea hit for four and handshakes were offered by the Australians, Korea winning the bronze medal 9-3.
Afterwards, Korea skip Eun-Jung Kim said, "We're very proud to have won bronze but our first goal was to go to the World Championship so we are disappointed. To be ready for next year I think we need to play more games, practice hard and we will get better."
Skip Yusuke Morozumi kept his Japan side in the final against China early in the game. He made a triple takeout and then a double takeout in the second end when his opponents was looking to build a big score. The Chinese took their single, stole the next and led throughout the rest of the match.
|Men's final round line-up. Photo © WCF / Simon East|
The ice had straightened on the sheet being used for the final, limiting the options open to the curlers. Two points to China on the seventh extended their lead, and when they stole again on the ninth Japan offered handshakes, and Riu Lui's Chinese side had a 6-2 victory.
Afterwards skip Rui Liu said, "We are very happy to have won gold and we are very excited to be going to the World Championship again next year. We were not bad today but not as good as some of the other games we have played this week. Japan played very well, they just didn't make some key shots."
Japanese skip Yusuke Morozumi commented, "We are still very pleased that Japan has qualified for the World Championship next year, but are a little disappointed that we did not play up to our usual standard today. We know we can play better, but it was not our day today."
In the bronze medal game, early pressure from Australia was rewarded when they forced a mistake from Korea in the first end. The final draw from Korea clipped a guard and Australia stole three. The scores were level by the third end, but Australia went ahead by two in the next and looked to have control. Korea needed to steal three in the final end to win, and as Australian fourth Sean Hall lined up the last stone of the match that was precisely what he faced. However he made a spectacular triple takeout to score one and win the bronze medal match 10-7.
Australian skip Hugh Millikan, was please to end the week well. "We've been in the bronze game a few times before and sometimes we've come up short," he said. "We've had a great game against Korea, they played very well and it's nice to finish the week off with a win."
|5||(2-4)||Chinese Taipei||5||(3-8)||New Zealand|
- 24 Nov 2012 – Day 7: China and Japan overjoyed
- 23 Nov 2012 – Day 6: Australia stun China
- 22 Nov 2012 – Day 5: NZ Men crash out
- 21 Nov 2012 – Day 4: China and Korea qualify
- 20 Nov 2012 – Day 3: NZ still in semi-final hunt
- 19 Nov 2012 – Day 2: NZ curlers trails at PACCs
- 18 Nov 2012 – Day 1: Plenty to do for NZ curlers
- 14 Nov 2012 – PACCs start Sunday in Naseby
China and Japan overjoyed
Saturday 24 Nov 2012 – China and Japan were the big winners in the semi-final rounds of the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2012 in Naseby today.
Both their men's and women's teams won their semi-final series, and in doing so they gained entry for their countries to the Men's and Women's World Curling Championships next year. At those events they have the final chance to earn automatic qualification for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia.
After their preliminary round robin the men had a best of three semi-final series, with the round robin match counting as the first of the three. Australia had stunned China yesterday and so led 1-0 coming into today's matches. Rui Liu's Chinese were in control throughout the first game, repeatedly scoring two-point ends while restricting their opponents to singles and won 8-3. China's performance in the afternoon was just as efficient. They expertly controlled the game from the outset and the Australian side of Hugh Millikin shook hands after nine ends with an identical final score to the first game.
|Team China delight. Photo © WCF / Simon East|
Chinese skip Rui Lui said after the match, "We are very excited about qualifying for the World Championship. We put all our hard practice and training to effect. Tomorrow (in the gold medal match) we will try to play our usual game and keep up the tempo."
Korea started their best of three semi-final against Japan at 1-0 as a result of winning their round robin game. At the fifth end break the scores were level at 2-2, but the game changed with the last stone of the sixth end. Korean skip Chang-Min Kim attempted a tough but achievable double take-out to score three points, but had the misfortune to have his stone "pick" - hit a minute piece of debris on the ice - and miss its target completely, handing Japan a steal of two. The Japanese then closed out the match for an 8-4 win. Japan were on a roll, and Yusuke Morozumi's men proved unstoppable to win the afternoon game 9-4, and with it the semi-final series.
Japanese skip Yusuke Morozumi was delighted with the opportunity to go the Ford World Men's Curling Championship next year. “We can’t believe it," he said. " We've been at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships in years before but to finally get our ticket to the World Championship is amazing! The Korean team were very good today, but we were just that little bit better than them. As a skip and as a team we played very well. One of my players is crying, it just feels so great. This was our goal and we made it so we are so happy."
The women's semi-final series was best of five following their double round robin, and China were hot favourites going into their morning match at 2-0 over Australia having won both of their round robin meetings. Despite stern resistance from Australia, the Chinese got the result they were looking for, with three steals decisive in their 6-4 win to confirm their ticket to the World Women's Championship.
Afterwards, China skip, Bingyu Wang, said: "It's great to have qualified for the World Championship, it gives us one more chance to get points for the Olympics. But the PACC is not finished yet – we hope to play very well tomorrow, have a great end to the Championship and then hope to do well in the World Championship in Latvia next year."
|Hugs, tears and high fives in the Japanese camp. Photo © WCF / Simon East|
Korea and Japan were locked at 1 game each as they started their morning match. The Japanese scored three in the second end, stole the next and didn't look back, going on to win 9-4.
They continued their top form in the afternoon when they opened with two points, stole the fourth end and restricted the young Korean side to singles on their way to completing a 7-3 win.
The women's gold medal games start at the Maniototo Curling International rink in Naseby at 9:30 am. China and Japan will contest the gold and silver medal, and the bronze game will be between Korea and Australia.
The line-up is the same for the men's medal games at 2:00 pm - China and Japan for the gold, Korea and Australia for the bronze.
Australia stun China
Friday 23 Nov 2012 – There was plenty to play for in the last round robin games at the Pacific Asia Curling Championships in Naseby today.
Japan, Australia and Chinese Taipei were contesting the two remaining men's semi-final positions, to join already-qualified China and Korea.
Australia and New Zealand were vying for the last women's semi-final berth, with China, Korea and Japan confirmed earlier.
As expected, Korea were far too strong for Kazakhstan and took the match 15-2.
The Australian men were on fire when they eliminated New Zealand from the tournament yesterday, and they continued with that form against competition leaders China today.
|Sean Hall, Ian Palangio and Steve Johns - Team Australia. Photo © WCF / Simon East|
They kept the pressure on the Chinese all the way through a pulsating game. The scores were locked at 4-4 after six ends, 5-5 after nine, and Australian fourth Ian Palangio made a last-stone double takeout to score one and take a deserved 6-5 win.
This left Chinese Taipei needing to beat Japan to force a tiebreaker for the playoffs. The Japanese had their noses in front early, and led 5-3 after six ends. Taipei blanked the next three ends looking for an opportunity to score multiple points, and still trailed by two when they started the tenth end. Skip Randie Shen's last stone levelled the scores at 5-5, but Japan made no mistake in the extra end to score two and win 7-5.
Japanese skip Yusuke Morozumi was a relieved man after the match. "It was a very tough game today so we are pleased to get the win," he said. "We have lost one game against Korea in the round-robin, so we will be aiming to win our two remaining (best of three) play-off games against them. From the beginning of this Championship we have been gradually getting better and better, so hopefully we can keep this up and do well in the play-offs."
The men's semi-finals are a best-of-three, and the preliminary game between the teams is the first of the three. Australia will start at 1-0 against China, and Korea have the advantage against Japan.
Games start at 9:00am Saturday at the Maniototo Curling International rink in Naseby. The winners of the semi-finals will qualify for the 2013 Men's World Championship in Canada.
Before the last Women's round, China, Korea and Japan already had semi-final places locked in. After the games, the last place was still up for grabs.
The feature match pitted China against Japan, and both teams displayed some excellent shot-making. Defending champions China eventually prevailed 8-6 to finish on top of the table.
|Brydie Donald, Marisa Jones and Kelsi Heath - New Zealand. Photo © WCF / Simon East|
Korea had a comfortable 9-2 win over Australia, leaving the Aussies with a 3 win - 7 loss record. New Zealand easily accounted for Kazakhstan 10-5 on the back of a big 5-point fifth end, and also finished on 3 wins to sit joint fourth. This forced an extra evening tiebreaker to split the Trans-Tasman sides.
After their Kazakhstan match, New Zealand skip Bridget Becker said, “It wasn't our best game. They played very well – they have a fantastic draw on them. But we did enough to win so we are lucky.”
Ahead of the evening tie-breaker against Australia, she added, "I think at this point we're going to keep it simple, make our shots and keep trying to improve our consistency. So we're just going to take it one shot at a time. We're definitely getting better. Our first game as a team was in the first game of this Championship so it's been hard, but we are improving every game and winning some. Hopefully we're peaking at the right time and it's not too late."
|Handshakes all round after the NZ v Australia tiebreaker. Photo © WCF / Simon East|
New Zealand controlled the first half of the tiebreaker, scoring a two when they had hammer (last stone advantage) while restricting their opponents to a single on their hammer. It was a different Australia who came out after the fifth end break though. They took the lead for the first time when they took 3 in the seventh end, and stole the next.
The Kiwis faced the last end needing to steal to stay in the match, and left the Australian fourth Laurie Weeden needing to draw to the button to win. She played it perfectly for an 8-6 win and a place in the semi-finals.
The women's semi-finals are a best-of-five, with the two pool games between the teams counting as the first two games of the series. China will start with a 2-0 advantage over Australia, while Korea and Japan start at 1-1.
Semi-final winners will qualify for the 2013 Women's World Championship in Latvia.
New Zealand men crash out
Thursday 22 Nov 2012 – Day 5 of the Pacific Asia Curling Championships in Naseby produced mixed results for the New Zealand teams. The Kiwi women scored an important win against Australia to stay in playoff contention, but their male counterparts crashed out of the tournament.
The NZ Men needed to beat Australia to keep their semi-final hopes alive, but they had a horror game where nothing went right and suffered an embarrassing 8-1 loss.
It all went wrong in the fourth end for New Zealand when looking to hit the side of an opponent's stone and roll in for shot with their final delivery. It was just wide, Australia stole 4 points and didn't look back. From there Australia ensured there were few stones in play, the Kiwis clipped guards when trying to draw behind cover to get back in the match, and the sides shook hands after seven ends.
In the other men's matches China headed Korea 6-4 in a top of the table clash, while Chinese Taipei kept their playoff hopes alive when they overwhelmed Kazakhstan 15-4.
|Marat Smailov, Alexandr Orlov and Ilya Kuznetsov - Team Kazakhstan. Photo © WCF / Simon East|
It has been a difficult week for Kazakhstan men, making their first appearance in the Pacific-Asia zone. Alexander Orlov, who has skipped the team for the majority of the week, believes the experience has been valuable.
"It was a great experience this week," he said. "It has shown all of us that the other teams make very few mistakes. You have to play all your stones, if you are not going to do that it will be difficult to pick up more than one point with hammer. But if you have a look at all of our scores, we can score some points, we will learn from this experience and I think we will do better next year."
China and Korea have secured their semi-final slots. Japan, Australia and Chinese Taipei are all in the mix for the other two places in tomorrow's final round.
The New Zealand women have played well through the week, but have had a number of their matches turn on just one shot. The same happened in their match against Japan this morning, when their last draw in the fourth end on lightning-fast ice was just heavy for them to concede a steal of 3.
NZ came back with a surgical takeout to score two in the eighth end, and went into the last end needing to steal one to level the scores. They did everything right to leave the Japanese skip needing a precision tap and roll to win, and she played it perfectly to earn a 7-5 result for her side.
|Japanese skip Satsuki Fujisawa. Photo © WCF / Simon East|
Japan skip Satsuki Fujisawa said after the match, "We got a win today which is important as it makes things a little bit easier for us (having qualified for the play-offs). The fourth end was excellent because we made all of our shots perfectly."
"At the seventh end New Zealand had a very good end but thankfully, in the eighth end, we recovered. New Zealand is a pretty good team, they have been getting better and better throughout this competition and they played very well so it was a hard game today."
In the other women's morning matches, Korea scored a well-executed 4 en route to toppling the previously unbeaten Chinese 8-6, and Australia needed an extra end to beat an injury-depleted Kazakhstan 9-8.
The local side finally earned some reward when they played Australia in the evening round. The Kiwis stole three consecutive ends in the middle of the game, and wrapped up a deserved 9-4 win with 3 points in the ninth end.
New Zealand skip Bridget Becker was understandably pleased after the match. "We played really well in both games today," she said. "It was tough losing on the last stone (to Japan) this morning but tonight we just kept it going and we got the result. So it's onwards and upwards we hope, and we'll see how we go tomorrow."
Japan's women completed a good day with a 6-3 win against Korea, and table-topping China beat the plucky Kazakh side 11-3.
China, Japan and Korea have confirmed their semi-final places with one round to play. New Zealand will earn a tiebreaker against the Aussies for the other spot if they beat Kazakhstan and Korea can topple Australia tomorrow.
China and Korea qualify
Wednesday 21 Nov 2012 – The men's and women's teams from both China and Korea have already qualified for the semi-finals of the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2012 in Naseby this week.
Semi-finals are not out of reach for the New Zealand teams, but the sides are not making life easy for themselves. The Kiwi men and women sides both had important matches slip through their fingers at the tournament today.
The NZ men had just one match today, against the unbeaten Chinese. Prior to the match, skip Peter de Boer was confident his side had the ability. "We're playing well," he said. "but we're playing against some very good teams. We had a good run last year, but some of these teams are professional curlers and we're still four guys that get together as often as possible in the only curling rink in New Zealand."
"So we need to start winning," he added, "and we need to start winning fast."
|Chinese skip Rui Liu. Photo © WCF / Simon East|
NZ had last-stone advantage at the start of the match and used it to take their first opportunity to score multiple points in the third end, taking 2 and just missing one more, and then stole the fourth end to lead 3-0. China opened their account with 2 but NZ hit straight back to lead 5-2 after six ends.
An unlucky "pick" on a NZ stone in the seventh end allowed China to score two more and close the gap to 5-4. The Kiwis were not too disappointed when the Chinese stole the ninth end to level the scores, as it meant the home side would have hammer in the final end. However the Chinese put up early guards and then held shot stone for most of the end, and despite numerous near misses it stayed there for the Chinese to steal and win 6-5.
In the other men's games, Australia won the first three ends on their way to a comfortable 7-3 victory over Kazakhstan. Korea led throughout their match against the Japanese, and ran Japan out of stones in the final end to win 7-4.
Despite their loss, the NZ Men still have a chance. They must beat Australia tomorrow and then count on other results going their way to force a tiebreaker for the fourth semi-final spot.
Bridget Becker's New Zealand women stayed in touch with Korea early, and the scores were level at 2-2 after 4 ends. Korea stepped it up and seemed to be heading for victory 6-3 after seven ends, but a desperate Kiwi side played very well to score singles in the last three ends to tie the scores and force an extra end. They were unable to steal a third consecutive end though, and Korea took 2 to win 8-6.
In the other morning games China were untroubled to beat Australia 10-3, but the day's highlight was Kazakhstan's first win in a Pacific-Asia Championship.
|Olga Ten - Kazakhstan. Photo © WCF / Simon East|
The Kazakhs were on fire early against a strong Japan and stole the first three ends. Japan fought back to level the match after seven ends before Kazakhstan skip Olga Ten produced the shot of the day, a double run-back double takeout to set up a steal of 3. Japan regained the lead with a big 4 point end in the ninth end, but the Kazakh side held their nerve in a tense final end to take two and record a historic 9-8 win.
Kazakhstan skip Olga Ten was ecstatic after the match. "It is unbelievable how happy I am," she said. "It's our first really, really good game in our lives and the first win we really deserved. The team played very well and everyone made their shots."
"It's a very small step forwards towards our Olympic future. It's just great for our heads to feel and now know that we can win games. The first three days were very difficult but from yesterday we have felt better about ourselves which has helped our confidence."
None of the evening women's games were close. China were always in control to beat New Zealand 10-2 and Japan headed Australia 11-2. Kazakhstan were unable to repeat their heroics from the morning session when they lost 8-1 to Korea.
The New Zealand semi-final prospects rely on them winning their second round matches against Australia and Kazakhstan.
NZ still in semi-final hunt
Tuesday 20 Nov 2012 – New Zealand's curlers had a much-needed reversal of fortune at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships in Naseby today.
The men's and women's teams from the host nation both recorded their first wins of the tournament. They are still in the hunt for the semi-finals, but have few lifelines left.
At the top of the leader board, the Korean men and both of the Chinese sides are still unbeaten.
|Brydie Donald, Marisa Jones and Kelsi Heath - New Zealand. Photo © WCF / Simon East|
The New Zealand women played just one game on the third day of the competition, beating event newcomers Kazakhstan 11-3 in eight ends. The Kiwis capitalised on mistakes from a Kazakhstan side who made some excellent individual shots, but were unable to repeat their strong overall showing the previous day, when they were ahead in the last end against Australia but beaten by the clock. NZ stole three consecutive ends in the middle of the game to set up their win.
After the game, NZ skip Bridget Becker said, "We decided after our horrible game last night that we just had to improve and needed to make a fresh start. Our tournament starts today!"
"We'll just relax and play one shot at a time," she added. "And if we make our shots, we can let the results take care of themselves."
In the other two matches, the Women's favourites China looked formidable in their 8-2 win over Japan, and a score of 4 in the third end set Korea up for their 8-4 win over Australia.
In their first match of the day the New Zealand men also played Kazakhstan and they came away with a comfortable 8-3 win. Like the NZ women, their male counterparts earned their win by making the most of a few simples misses from their opponents.
|NZ skip Peter de Boer. Photo © WCF / Danny Parker|
Following their first win of the tournament, New Zealand skip Peter de Boer said, “We played a simple game today, we capitalised on their mistakes. But it’s nice to get a win after a couple of disappointing results. Hopefully we can take it up another level – it was quite a straightforward game out there this morning – nothing too complex.
On the key moments in the game, de Boer added, “I think in the first end, we looked like getting a three or four and he (Kazakhstan skip Alexander Orlov) played a very good shot. I made a draw and getting that two with the hammer just gets you off to a good start and got us moving.”
in the other morning games, a steal of 2 in the seventh end set Japan up for a narrow 7-6 win, and it was the same margin in the other match when Korea scored a single in the last end to edge Chinese Taipei.
New Zealand went into their evening match against Korea needing a win to get back into the semi-final hunt. They had some good fortune on the first to pick up two after an attempted hit from Korea picked and missed its target. The sides swapped singles before Korea scored two points in the fourth end to level the scores at 3-3.
Pressure from Korea forced a steal in the fifth end, and the local side then blanked the next two ends. They tried for an tough double takeout in the eighth but a Korean stone jammed, and the Kiwis gave up another steal to be in trouble, down 5-3. Korea forced NZ to take just a single in the ninth and then made no mistake with hammer in the last. Korean skip Chang-Min Kim removed the only opposition stone with his last shot to score four points and record a 9-4 win.
On the adjoining sheet the Japanese men were never headed as they beat Kazakhstan 9-4. Chinese Taipei played neighbours China and the match remained tight until a single mistake, a clipped guard on the seventh end, was punished by China to the tune of four points and they teams shook hands at 7-3.
NZ curlers trail at Pacific-Asia Championships
Monday 19 Nov 2012 – The news for both New Zealand teams did not get any better on the second day of the 2012 Pacific-Asia Curling Championships in Naseby, Central Otago today. The Kiwi women's and men's teams are both still to record a win in the competition.
However it is still early enough in the competition for them to qualify for semi-finals, although they will have to play well to get there.
China and Korea remain unbeaten in the men’s event while China is the only women’s team yet to lose a game.
The New Zealand men played Japan in their only game of the day. The scores were level at 2-2 after two ends before Japan made a steal, but the game was effectively over in the next when NZ skip Peter de Boer's final draw came up short and Japan stole 4 to lead 7-2. The Kiwi curlers played well to battle back to 8-5, but the Japanese lead was too great.
Having played two games and recorded two victories, China is sitting at the top of the men’s standings following a comfortable win over Kazakhstan, who were today making their debut at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships.
The Chinese were 3 up after three ends, and although the Kazakhstan side kept the pressure on throughout the Chinese kept their advantage to win 8-4.
Afterwards, China skip Rui Liu commented, “Every team is getting stronger and stronger each year here at the Pacific-Asia Championships, I would not say there are any weak teams, so we will have to play very well against everyone. Today Kazakhstan played very hard and were very confident so we had to concentrate throughout the game.”
Australia edged out Chinese Taipei 5-4 in the other match.
The Kazakhstan women came agonisingly close to recording their first win in the Pacific-Asia zone. They stole the first three ends against Australia, and led 9-7 going into the final end. However they were in serious time trouble and their allowed 73 minutes of playing time ran out still with half of their stones to play, so they forfeited the match.
|Kim Forge, Australian skip. Photo © WCF / Simon East|
Afterwards, Australia skip, Kim Forge, was impressed with their opponents' play, but delighted to get their first win of the Championship. She said, “They (Kazakhstan) curl really well and their fourth stone player makes the pressure shots. We were sitting really well in some of the ends and she would come down and take us out. But it feels great to get the first win on the board and hopefully there’s more to come. We played well and had them in trouble a lot – I think that’s what ate up the clock for them.”
In the other women’s games in the morning session, Japan continued their impressive form with a 9-2 victory over New Zealand. The local side did not help their cause when they twice conceded 2-point steals after their last draw came up short.
China used their last-stone advantage in the final end to beat Korea 7-6.
In the women's evening session China beat an injury depleted Kazakhstan side 12-3, and Korea headed Japan 7-4 thanks to a triple in the ninth end.
The NZ women were disappointed to concede seven points in steals during their 9-5 loss to Australia.
Plenty to do for NZ curlers
Sunday 18 Nov 2012 – The New Zealand teams did not the start they were hoping for on the first day of the 2012 Pacific-Asia Curling Championships in Naseby, Central Otago today. The Kiwi women lost both of their matches to the favoured Chinese and Korean sides, and the NZ men were tripped up a well prepared Chinese Taipei team.
After the end of Sunday's matches the Chinese, Japanese and Korean women are all unbeaten with two wins. The men from China, Chinese Taipei and Korea each won their only game of the day.
In the morning session, Korea secured an important win over their New Zealand hosts. The Kiwis started well, leading 3-1 after four ends. However Korea hit back with two in the fifth end, which set them on their way to victory. New Zealand picked up another single in the sixth end, but the Koreans then took charge scoring two in the seventh end, stealing two in the eighth and another steal of one in the ninth. This left Korea with the simple task of running New Zealand out of stones to seal their first win of the day 8-4.
|Team Korea. Photo © WCF / Simon East|
After the game, Korea Skip, Eun-Jung Kim, was pleased to get off to a winning start and has high hopes for the Championship. She said: “We are happy to start with a win but we will play better as we get more familiar with the ice - we found it a little bit difficult to judge today but each game we will get better. Our main aim this week is to win the (PACC) Championship and then progress to the World Championship. All of the teams here are very good, especially China and Japan, so it will be difficult but we believe we can do it and win.”
In the other morning games, China comfortably beat Australia 11-2 in six ends. PACC newcomers Kazakhstan didn’t get their Championship off to the best of starts, losing 10-2 to Japan.
In the women’s evening session, Japan continued their good form beating Australia 11-6. China and Korea also picked up important wins. China defeated New Zealand 10-2 after picking up three in the fifth end and stealing three more in the sixth. Korea also kept up their good form with an 11-1 victory over Kazakhstan, the highlight a steal of five points in the second end.
The men played only one session today, where hosts New Zealand played out a close game with Chinese Taipei. With the last stone advantage in the first end, Chinese Taipei retained that advantage by blanking the first three ends until registering their first score of two in the fourth end. The game remained tight, and the Kiwis stole two in the ninth end to take the lead for the first time at 4-3. The Chinese Taipei skip kept his nerve through the last end, removing two NZ stones with the final shot of the game to score two himself for a well-deserved 5-4 win.
|Chinese Taipei skip Randie Shen (L) and NZ skip Peter de Boer. Photo © WCF / Danny Parker|
After the game, Chinese Taipei skip Randolph Shen said: “It feels great to get our first win – it’s a pretty tough competition so any win is nice to have. Our goal at this year’s Pacific-Asia Championship is definitely to make the top two – we’ve been very close in previous years but with a little bit of luck we might make one of the top two spots. This year is our third year together as a foursome and we had a chance to work together prior to coming to this tournament rather than just actually meeting up at this tournament. We play on the World Curling Tour over in Canada and we play one tournament and then have one weekend off for training and vice-versa. We played four tournaments over there so have managed to get in some important practice ahead of this year’s event.”
In the other men’s games, China recorded the biggest win in the session, beating Japan 8-3. China were ahead by 4-1 by the sixth end and although Japan closed the gap, the Chinese stole three points in the last end for the victory.
While the Kazakhstan men were made to wait another day to make their debut at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships with a bye in session one, the other men’s game between Australia and Korea proved to be a very exciting game. By the fifth end break, Korea were leading 5-2. However, Australia picked themselves up to score one in the sixth end and then steal two in the seventh to level the scores. Korea picked up two points in the eighth end before Australia went one better and scored three in the ninth to setup a nervy finish. With under a minute remaining on the clock for both teams, Korea took a 9-8 victory with a score of two in the tenth and final end.
Pacific-Asia Championships start Sunday in Naseby
Wednesday, 14 Nov 2012 – The 2012 Pacific-Asia Curling Championships get under way in Naseby this weekend. This event is a precursor to the final stage of qualification for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The New Zealand Men's team currently sits 5th on the Olympic qualification table.
The championships start on Sunday 18 November. 13 teams (7 men's teams and 6 women's teams) from the World Curling Federation's Pacific-Asia region will take part in the event with the finals taking place a week later on Sunday 25 November.
In the women's competition, teams from Australia, China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea and New Zealand will play to secure the two World Curling Federation Pacific-Asia Zone qualification places for the World Women's Curling Championship 2013 in Riga, Latvia (16-24 March).
Kazakhstan make their first appearance at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships and will be skipped by Olga Ten, a fourth place finisher at the Asian Winter Games in 2007. New Zealand's Bridget Becker, 2010 World Mixed Doubles Silver Medallist, skips the home team and Kim Forge will skip the Australian team.
Olympic bronze medallist, China's Bingyu Wang, returns as skip of the Chinese team for the 8th successive year. Three time silver medallist at the Pacific-Asia Junior Curling Championships, Eun-Jung Kim, skips a young Korean team who are making their first appearance at this level.
|Photo © WCF / Simon East|
In the men's event, teams from Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea and New Zealand will vie for the top two spots and qualification for the Ford World Men's Curling Championship 2013 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (30 March – 7 April).
New Zealand will be hoping their home fans will spur them on following their impressive performance at the World Men's Curling Championship earlier this year, where they finished in fifth position and were the only team to beat eventual World Champions Canada during the event. A repeat performance will qualify the home side for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
Four time Pacific-Asia Curling Championship gold winner, Rui Liu, returns to skip the Chinese men's team who will be looking for back to back gold medals at this Championship.
Meanwhile, Chang-Min Kim skips Korea who will be looking to improve on last year's bronze medal finish while Australia will be skipped again by 2011 World Senior Men's bronze medallist Hugh Millikin. Randolph Shen returns for the fourth year in a row to skip the Chinese Taipei team.
Japan have experience in their skip Yusuke Morozumi, a two time Pacific-Asia Curling Championship silver medallist, where as Kazakhstan will also be represented for the first time in the men's event. They will be skipped by Viktor Kim who was in the same team as compatriot Olga Ten in the team that finished fourth at the 2007 Asian Winter Games.
The event is being staged in the Naseby Indoor Curling Rink. In the 21 year history of the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships (formerly Pacific Curling Championships), this will be the fourth time that the event has been hosted by New Zealand (1994 Christchurch, 2002 Queenstown, 2008 Naseby).