World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2013 – Day 6

Date: 2/27/2013

Sochi, Russia – Sweden and Canada will meet in the 1v2 playoff at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2013 in Sochi, Russia scheduled for Friday afternoon. USA will have to wait until the outcome of two tiebreak games to know their opponents for the 3v4 playoff.

Having won their final two games of the round robin (8-3 against China and 10-8 against Finland), Sweden emerged with the same win-loss record as Canada. But because Jalle Jungnell’s side beat Canada yesterday, the Swedes take the top spot.

The USA finish the round robin in third place on a record of 7 wins and 2 losses after winning their game against Russia 5-4 but losing to Scotland 5-7.

Three teams are tied for fourth position – China, Russia and Scotland. Ranked by their win-loss record, Russia will play Scotland in a tiebreaker on Thursday evening (2000 local) and the winner will face China in a second tiebreaker on Friday morning (0900 local). The winner of that game will be placed fourth and play USA in the 3v4 playoff.

Slovakia and Finland will also play a tiebreak on Thursday evening to decide 7th and 8th place ranking and also Paralympic qualification points.

Korea and Norway finish this year’s championship in 9th and 10th position respectively and face relegation to the next World Wheelchair Curling qualification event in Autumn 2014.

From the players on the last day of the round robin: Aileen Neilson, skip team Scotland after beating USA 7-5 in the final round robin session: “we had to win our game there, we have no control over what else is going on. We just had to remain focussed on our game...some team’s results could obviously help us massively, but we can’t control that. We focussed on what we could control and that was the way we played against the USA and we came out with a win.”

Aileen Neilson, on the prospect of a tiebreak game: “I don’t know who will play who at this time, but we just have to go away are refocus and go back on and play the best game we can possibly play, because we are still in it!”

USA Coach Steve Brown reviews his team’s performance: “I am quite ecstatic about how things are going. It’s very impressive. We had good expectations coming into the event, but there were still a lot of unknowns. Our goal was to get to the final four...We need to keep the wheels going. I like the chemistry of the team, I love their attitude and work ethic. Everything they’ve done this year has been ‘A’ quality. I would like to add compliments to the icemakers for their work here. They have done a tremendous job.”

Jim Armstrong, Canadian Skip, reviewing the week’s performance after winning their final game against Norway 7-6: “We had our moments when we’ve played well and we’ve been struggling a bit too. I think we have been going through the same ups and downs as pretty much all the teams. We struggled a little yesterday, we struggled actually in the middle of this game today, but got the result we needed. Hopefully we can get some momentum going now into the weekend.”

Rune Lorentsen, Norwegian skip, on his last stone missed raise in the game against Canada: “I think I threw it hard enough, but it was down a part of the sheet where we hadn’t thrown any rocks in the game. One second faster and I would’ve had the shot... It just hasn’t been working for us. I don’t want to go down to the B group [qualification event] again...”

Korean Skip Haksung Kim speaking through their team interpreter explained that his team’s poor performance this week could be due to the fact that they had a 27 hour journey to Sochi ahead of the event and took several days to get adjusted to the time change and recover from the trip.

After losing 4-5 to USA, Russian third Marat Romanov explained that his team was under a lot of pressure that game. The American’s had already qualified for the playoffs so they were quite relaxed.