|Photo © Chinese Curling Assn|
20 Nov 2013 – The podium proved to be just out of reach for New Zealand's curlers at the 2013 Pacific-Asia Championships in Shanghai. Both the Men's and Women's sides reached the Bronze medal match, but were beaten by Korea and Japan respectively.
Despite the disappointing finish for the Kiwi sides, both skips took some positives from the tournament.
The NZ Men finished second in the double round robin with a 7-3 win-loss record, losing only to China (twice) and Chinese Taipei. Unfortunately it was third ranked China they faced in the semi-final series, and the Chinese won the one match they needed to secure the best-of-five series. China went on to beat Japan in the final.
|All photos © Chinese Curling Assn / Yang Gao|
In the match for the bronze medal NZ faced the Korean men, a side they had beaten in two tight round robin encounters. The sides were locked at 6-6 into the final end, but a steal to Korea allowed them to take the bronze 7-6.
"From our perspective, that was a very disappointing end to the week," said NZ skip Peter de Boer on behalf of his team Sean Becker, Scott Becker, Kenny Thomson and Phil Dowling.
"Our play ranged from the very good to the very bad (at times during the same end), which generated the inconsistent results. On a positive note, we take winning records over Japan and Korea into the Olympic Qualifying Event and know that we will be in the mix there in Fussen if we bring our 'A' game!"
NZ women finished well behind the favoured teams Korea, China and Japan in their double round robin, but two wins against Australia secured their semi-final spot. They held the top-ranked Koreans for the first few ends of the semi-final but the favourites eased out to a 9-5 win. Korea then went on to beat China in the final.
In the bronze medal match NZ had no answer to the Japanese women, who found their best form of the week to win 11-3.
Skip Chelsea Farley was in no doubt the Japanese deserved their medal. "They performed very well," she said, "and if they played like that all week they could have been in the final."
"And considering the exam pressure and sicknesses our team [Thivya Jeyaranjan, Tessa Farley, Waverley Taylor, Liz Matthews] faced over the week I felt everyone performed well. Waverley slotted in well and was a highly versatile player as she played both lead and second throughout the week."
Liz Matthews, NZ's most experienced player in the Senior Women's ranks, was both Coach and alternate player for the side. She had the distinction of making her debut for the NZ Women's side during the week at the age of 67.
|Men:||China 1, Japan 2, Korea 3, New Zealand 4, Chinese Taipei 5, Australia 6|
|Women:||Korea 1, China 2, Japan 3, New Zealand 4, Australia 5|
Pacific-Asia champs get under way
|Photo © WCF|
12 Nov 2013 – The 2013 Pacific-Asia Curling Championships are under way in Shangahi, China. New Zealand's men and women will take on the best from Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Korea.
For the Men's side of Peter de Boer, Sean Becker, Scott Becker, Kanny Thomson, Phil Dowling and coach Peter Becker the tournament is important in its own right, with a place to join China in the 2014 Men's World Championship up for grabs. But just as important is their continued build-up for next month's Olympic Qualifying Event.
While the Kiwi Women's side of Chelsea Farley, Thivya Jeyaranjan, Tessa Farley, Waverley Taylor and 5th/coach Liz Matthews may have only an outside chance of the top-two finish needed to play at the next Women's Worlds, they will relish the opportunity to gain valuable international experience against some top teams.
The double round robin for all teams will continue through until Sunday 17th. This will be followed by a semi-final series, and then finals on Tuesday 19th.