Korea and Japan women qualify for Worlds and Pacific-Asia final

  • Korea's Eunjung Kim directs her team Photos: © WCF / Céline Stucki

Korea and Japan’s women’s teams have qualified for the Ford World Women’s Curling Championships 2018 – to be held in North Bay, Ontario, Canada from 17-25 March – and the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2017 final.

These teams will compete for gold medals in Erina Ice Arena, on Australia’s Central Coast, on Thursday (8 November) morning at 09:00 – live on national broadcasters and World Curling TV (geo-blocking applies)

Korea, who are undefeated at this event and who won the 2016 edition of this championship, won their semi-final 14-2 over Hong Kong. In the other semi-final between, Japan and China, Japan were victorious 6-5.

Hong Kong and China will now play for bronze medals, and the last World Curling Championships place, also at 09:00 on Thursday.

Korea opened their semi-final with a score of four points, followed by multiple steals, including a steal of six points in the third end. This gave them a 13-0 lead after five ends. Hong Kong put single points on the board in the fifth and seventh ends, but not enough to mount a comeback to Korea’s large lead. This was Hong Kong’s first ever semi-finals at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships, having made their debut in 2016.

Japan and China’s semi-final was much closer and came down to the very last stone in the tenth end. China created an early lead and at the fifth end break were up 4-2. However, in the sixth end, Japan stole two points, when China’s skip Yilun Jiang was light with her draw to the button. This levelled the scores at 4-4. China moved in front again, only to be brought back to 5-5 in the ninth end by skip Satsuki Fujisawa’s Japanese team.

Then, in the tenth end both teams made a series of light tap and rolls into a well-guarded house to place their stones closest to the button. However, with China’s last stone they were heavy with their shot and cleared Japan’s stone on the button, but also their own stone past the next Japanese stone, handing Japan a one point steal and the win, 6-5.

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

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 14-2 semi-final win over Hong Kong): “[In the final] we want to focus in the early ends and if we can control the early ends we will win. If we have one more win, it is such a good experience for us and we will get our confidence up for PyeongChang. It is really important to us to play on the arena ice. We want to make sure we perform to a higher level in the final.”

Satsuki Fujisawa; skip, Japan (after 6-5 semi-final win over China): “That was a nerve wracking game for us, especially with the ninth end miss. It was a big win and we are really happy with it. We had two losses to China coming into this game. Before the game, our fifth, [Yumi] Suzuki said ‘if you play three times, surely, you will win on the third.’ This is the same with Korea, so we are looking to have that same ‘play three get a win’ positive attitude.”

Results women’s semi-finals: Hong Kong 2-14 Korea; Japan 6-5 China

Standings after women’s semi-finals (W-L):

G Korea 11-0
G Japan 7-4
B China 8-3
B Hong Kong 3-8
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