NASEBY, NEW ZEALAND – China women are celebrating winning the gold medal at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championship 2012 after defeating Japan 10-4 today. Japan therefore take the silver medal and Korea have won bronze after defeating Australia.
China, skipped by Bingyu Wang, with Yin Liu (Third), Qingshuang Yue (Second) and Yan Zhou (Lead), and Japan, skipped by Satsuki Fujisawa, with Miyo Ichikawa (Third), Emi Shimizu (Second) and Chiaki Matsumura (Lead), proved why they were the top two teams in the Championship, with little separating them in the opening stages of the game.
Arguably, the shot of the game came in the fifth end when Japan skip, Satsuki Fujisawa, on her last stone, made a triple raise to take one point and tie the teams at 3-3. Fijisawa however was inches wide with an attempted tap back with her last stone which gave China skip, Bingyu Wang, the opportunity to draw for four points in the sixth end which gave China a crucial lead. Japan did not recover and in the ninth end they decided to shake hands and end the game with the final score 10-4 which meant China won gold and Japan picked up silver.
Afterwards, China skip, Bingyu Wang, said: “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.”
She added: “Today we just played our own game. We felt no pressure as we knew we were going to the World’s which was our most important goal. If we won gold then great but if we won silver then we’re still going to the World’s so we just tried to do our best and I think we did well.”
Although disappointed, Japan skip, Satsuki Fujisawa, was pleased that Japan will be represented at the World Women’s Championship in 2013. She said: "We are still very happy that Japan has qualified for the World Women's Curling Championship next year. But we would have liked a closer game today. We will need to improve our strategy and tactics to beat 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 again."
The bronze medal game was a little more one sided. Korea, skipped by Eun-Jung Kim, with Kyeong-Ae Kim (Third), Seon-Yeong Kim (Second) and Yeong-Mi Kim (Lead), took advantage of hammer in the first end to score two. Australia, skipped by Kim Forge, with Laurie Weeden (Fourth), Lyn Gill (Second) and Blair Murray (Lead), responded with a single point in the second end before Japan doubled their score with another two points in the third end. With Australia blanking the fourth end, Korea managed to steal another point to lead 5-1 at the fifth end break.
Australia took another single point in the sixth end and stole another point in the seventh end, which kept them within touching distance of Korea. However, Korea Skip, Eun-Jung Kim, made a difficult take out in the eighth end to give her team four more points which was enough to make Australia concede defeat in the ninth end with the final score 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.”
She added: “We want to go to the World Championship in 2014 and there may be a chance Korea can still go to the Olympics depending on what happens at the 2013 World Women’s Championship. So we will practice hard and play many more games in order to keep on improving next year.”