NASEBY, NEW ZEALAND – China won gold at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships after defeating Japan 6-2. As a result Japan took silver while Australia won bronze after defeating Korea.
Japanese skip, Yusuke Morozumi , kept his side in the game early on after China decided to blank the first end. Morozumi made a triple take-out and then another double take-out with his second stone in the second end, which forced China to take a single point.
After China stole another point in the third end, a score of one point in the fourth end for Japan meant the score was still close at 2-1 going into the fifth end. It wasn’t until the seventh end until China got a much needed two points thanks to a simple draw shot by Chinese skip, Rui Liu. The Japanese skip was short with his last draw to blank the eighth end and with a score of one point in the ninth end, Japan decided to shake hands and end the game in the tenth end with the final score 6-2.
Having played in the gold medal game, China, skipped by Rui Liu and with Xiaoming Xu third, Jialiang Zang second and Dexin Ba lead, join Japan who were skipped by Yusuke Morozumi, with Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi third, Tetsuro Shimizu second and Kosuke Morozumi lead, at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2013.
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. But we need to continue improving our mentality and physically and if we do that we will do well at the World Championship.”
Despite losing the gold medal game, Japan skip, Yusuke Morozumi, was not too downhearted. He said: “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 to our normal standard today. We know we can play better, but it was not our day. Now we will go back to training and try to improve even more. For us to go to the World Championship in Canada we will need to win the Japan Championship in February, so we have a lot of work to do.”
The bronze medal decider proved to be another exciting game for spectators. Australia changed their line-up today which saw Hugh Millikin skip the team but play second stones, Sean Hall moved up to play fourth stones, Ian Palangio third and Stephen Johns still as lead.
Korea also made a change in their line-up today, with Chang-Min Kim skip, Min-Chan Kim third, Eun-Su Oh replaced Se-Hyeon Seong as second today and Young-Seon Seo as lead.
Australia were rewarded for early pressure when they forced a mistake from Korea in the first end. The final draw from Korea clipped a guard and Australia stole three points. However Korea battled back, taking a score of two points in the second and stealing a single point in the third end.
Australia hit back with two points in the fourth end and a steal of one point in the fifth end to lead 6-3 going into the break. Korea skip, Chang-Min Kim, made a simple take-out in the sixth end to take two points and get within a point of Australia. However, playing fourth stones today, Sean Hall made a double take-out to score three points in the seventh end to give them a 9-5 advantage. Korea took a single point in the eighth and stole a point in the ninth but Australia finished in style as Sean Hall made a triple take-out to score one point and seal the bronze medal for Australia with the final score 10-7.
Afterwards, Australia skip, Hugh Millikan, was please to end the week well. He said: “It’s nice to win bronze. We’ve been in the bronze game a few times before and sometimes we’ve come up short. It’s depressing to sit there and end up with nothing especially when you’ve been playing well all week. We’ve had a great game against Korea, they played very well and it’s nice to finish the week off with a win.”