Korea defend Pacific-Asia title ahead of hosting Olympic Winter Games

  • Korea defend Pacific-Asia title Photos © WCF / Céline Stucki

The Korean women’s team have won the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2017, in the Erina Ice Arena, on Australia’s Central Coast on Thursday (9 November) morning.

This is the second year in a row this team – made up of skip EunJung Kim, third KyeongAe Kim, second SeonYeong Kim, lead YeongMi Kim and alternate Chohi Kim – have won gold medals at this event. This victory also comes just three months before they are due to compete at their home Olympic Winter Games in Gangneung, Republic of Korea (8-25 February).

Korea won the gold medal game, 11-6, over silver medallists Japan – who are also made up of the athletes that have been selected to compete at the Games. Japan are skip Satsuki Fujisawa, third Chinami Yoshida, second Mari Motohashi, lead Yurika Yoshida and alternate Yumi Suzuki.

China – who’s athletes were competing in the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships for the very time – won bronze medals, beating Hong Kong 8-3 in their final game of the event. China are skip Yilun Jiang, third Xindi Jiang, second Mingyue Yao, lead Hui Yan and alternate Xu Meng. 2017 was Hong Kong’s first time in the knock-out stages after making their debut at this event in 2016.

After the fourth end the scores were level, 3-3, in the gold medal final between Korea and Japan. However, Korea scored three points in the fifth end to take the lead. Skip Kim, had two counting stones in the four-foot ring and simply had to draw a third stone into the house, to score three points and head into the break, up 6-3.

In the sixth end, Japan’s skip Fujisawa removed two Korean stones in a crowded four-foot ring, to edge into position and take two points from the end, bringing down Korea’s lead to 6-5. Korea then responded with two points of their own in the seventh end, this time extending their lead to 8-5.

In the eighth end, Fujisawa again had to try to nudge Korean stones that were sitting on the button, out of scoring positions, with her last stone and she did enough to score one point. However, in the ninth and final end Kim’s Korean team had built a strong position for her to draw a third counting stone into the house to score three points and win the game 11-6.

In the bronze medal game China scored in the opening two ends, to establish a 3-0 lead. At this stage, Hong Kong scored a point to take the score to 3-1. However, a score of four points in the fifth end for Jiang’s team gave them a 7-1 lead heading into the break.

After that Hong Kong scored single points in the sixth and eighth ends, before they conceded the game, 8-3.

The next live game, on national broadcasters and World Curling TV (note geo-blocking may apply), at these championships will be the gold medal game between Japan and Korea men at 19:00, on Thursday afternoon.

All times in this report are Australia Eastern Daylight Time, which is +11 hours from Greenwich Mean Time.

They said it

EunJung Kim; skip; Korea (after 11-6 gold medal win over Japan): "First of all, we are the defending champions so there was a little bit of pressure but we were more successful during the game, so we’re happy. In the fifth end we got the three points, which were important. [Our family] will be very proud.”

Chinami Yoshida; vice-skip Japan (after winning silver medals): “We had some disappointments. This result is good [for preparing for our next competition] so we will do our best.”

Yilun Jiang; skip, China (after 8-3 bronze medal win over Hong Kong): “This is our first time for this team playing Pacific-Asia Curling Championships. To get the spot for the next worlds – we are so happy because this was our first goal. We were nervous, but we were trying to focus on the rocks and get our goal.”

Results women’s finals: GOLD Japan 6-11 Korea; Hong Kong 3-8 China

Standings after women’s finals (W-L):

G Korea 12-0
S Japan 7-5
B China 9-3
Hong Kong 3-9
New Zealand 3-7
Australia 0-10
Curling fans around the world will be able to follow live coverage of these championships via the World Curling Federation’s broadcast partners in China (CCTV), Japan (NTV), Korea (SpoTV), Hong Kong (i-Cable), New Zealand (Sky), USA (NBC) and the Olympic Channel. Coverage will also be available on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel, www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

To keep up-to-date with all the action from these championships, and the teams’ journey to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags: #PACC2017 #curling