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One more day of curling events at Winter Games

One more day of curling events at 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games

NASEBY, New Zealand (August 27, 2011) – The pressure is on for the curlers at the Maniototo International Curling Rink with only one more day of curling before the medal presentation.

The Men’s Fours played in yesterday’s afternoon game. They were all very one-sided with the New Zealand teams struggling to score. The New Zealand Juniors lost 3-11 to China, the New Zealand Men lost 8-3 to Korea and the New Zealand Seniors lost to Australia 9-1. Ian Palangio from the Australian team said “We played pretty well and we got lucky in the last two ends as New Zealand were close to scoring multiple points. They were unlucky to just miss the final shot at each end”. Japan had the bye.

The Women’s Fours were played in the evening game of the day. The New Zealand Juniors took on China. Despite the Juniors managing to win two ends, the game was definitely in China’s control – they got an amazing 6 points in the fifth end and won 13-3 at the end of the seventh. Kelsi Heath from the New Zealand team commented “China was a difficult team but we gave it our best shot. We accidentally burned a stone on the fifth end which was drawing against six”. Korea took on Japan. It was a close game until the fourth end when Korea amped it up a gear and won the next four ends and the game after the eighth 7-3. The New Zealand Women had the bye.

The New Zealand and Latvia Mixed Doubles teams had to play in a tie-break this morning to go through to the semi-finals. New Zealand won 4 points in the first end and carried on with strong third and fourth ends winning 10-1 after four ends putting them into the semi-finals. Dace Regza from the Latvia team was suffering from a knee injury and this is likely to have been a contributing factor to their game.

The Mixed Doubles semi-final was held right after the tie-break. Switzerland played Japan who took 4 points in each of the first three ends - putting them ahead 6-0. Switzerland won the fourth end and picked up 2 points but Japan retaliated with 3 points and a 7 point lead 9-2. On the last delivery of the sixth, Switzerland had shot and two in the house. Japan also had four stones in the house. Reto Seiler delivered the last shot to pick up 2 points closing the margin 4-9. Japan scored again in the seventh and won the game after the end 10-4.

New Zealand took on Hungary who was always going to be tough competitors – particularly considering New Zealand had already played in the tie-break mere hours earlier. Hungary opened the scoring with 3 points in the first end. New Zealand came back with 2 points in the second and Hungary answered by winning the next two ends and giving them a lead of 5-2. A great double raised takeout by Sean Becker in the fifth helped clear the way for New Zealand to pick up 3 points and get back in the game 5 all. Hungary picked up 1 point in the next two ends putting them ahead 7-5 after seven ends. It was a tense eighth end with a number of spectators watching the game and hoping the New Zealand team could come back. It was a cluttered house with the last two stones to throw. New Zealand had shot and three more in the house. Hungary had three in the house. On their last delivery Hungary hit and rolled their stone in towards the button leaving New Zealand in shot but with a difficult last delivery to get the elusive 2 points. Bridget Becker delivered the stone which slightly over-curled and gave them only 1 point and a loss of 7-6 to Hungary.

Tonight the Men’s Fours and Women’s Fours semi-finals continue. In the Men’s Fours China play New Zealand and Korea play Australia. In the Women’s Fours China play New Zealand and Japan play Korea.

100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games continues tomorrow (28 August) with the Women’s Fours Bronze, Men’s Fours Bronze, Women’s Gold Medal, Men’s Gold Medal and the Mixed Doubles Bronze and Gold Medal Games. There will be an on-ice closing ceremony and medal presentation at 6pm.


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