Women Session 10: RUS-CHN 7-4, JPN-SUI 4-10, SWE-CAN 2-6, GBR-DEN 8-9
Canada confirmed a place in the semi-final line-up when Cheryl Bernard’s team beat Sweden’s defending Olympic champions led by Anette Norberg by 6-2 in the tenth session of women’s round-robin play. As Bernard explained, “we were really just up for it today – they are such a strong team and it really worked for us today”.
The Canadians were so much in control of this game that they had the luxury of bringing on their five-months’ pregnant alternate Kristie Moore for the last few ends. About this move, Moore said “one day I can tell my baby that it was in the Olympics”.
Despite this loss, Sweden stay in second place on the rankings. The People’s Republic of China, on five wins but now on three losses rather than Sweden’s two, went down to Russia by 4-7, much to the annoyance of their Canadian coach Dan Rafael, who said, “I’m furious. The problem with this team is that they have no passion. I don’t know who will turn up – the team that beat Canada or the team that lost to Russia”.
Elsewhere in the session, Switzerland continued their recovery from a poor start to the tournament by beating Japan 10-4 to move into a clear fourth place, with four wins, but Britain’s semi-final chances were dealt an all but fatal blow when they went down by 8-9 to Denmark.
In this game, the British, led by nineteen-year-old Eve Muirhead started well and held a 6-4 lead after six ends. But the momentum changed in the seventh, when Denmark took three and a complete miss by Muirhead in the ninth eventually left her with too much to do, with even the Danish team being surprised at their win. Their fourth player Madeleine Dupont later said, “it didn’t seem like we were going to win. Britain played really well in the first half but we took advantage of some mistakes and stepped up”.
Germany and the USA sat out the session. These results leave four teams on three wins – Germany, Japan, Denmark and Great Britain. But while Germany and Japan have four losses, Denmark and Britain each have five. To have any chance of survival, these four teams need to win their closing games while Switzerland would have to lose their games against Germany and USA, who prop up the table as the only team on two wins.