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Japanese and Canadian curling teams remain unbeaten

  • August 25, 2015

Japan and Canada 2 remain the only teams with a perfect three-from-three record at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ 2015 Mixed Doubles Curling Tournament in Naseby, Central Otago.


Yesterday afternoon Japan continued their strong start to the tournament with an 8-3 result over New Zealand 1.

“It’s great ice,” said team member Kenji Tomabechi, “and we are just really enjoying playing here.”

The USA beat the Czech Republic 10-2 while Australia 1 saw off the reigning Canadian champions 8-3. Both wins were the first for the Americans and the Australians.

“We certainly seemed to find the flow in that one,” said Australia’s Sandy Gagnon. “We changed positions and that just seemed to work really well for us.”

In yesterday evening’s fourth round, Canada 2 got off to a flyer stealing 4 points in the first end with a nest of granite around the 4-foot that Korea could not penetrate. The Canadians went on to record their second win of the day 7-5.

New Zealand 2 had a 6-3 win against the youthful Chinese pair and the Finns recorded their first success 9-6 against Australia 2.

This morning USA was on the ball early, scoring five in the first end against Australia 1, despite coming up just short with their final draw. The teams shook hands after six ends with the Americans 11-1 ahead.

“We’re feeling good, getting used to the ice,” said Team USA’s Korey Dropkin. “We had a tough opening game but we’re now starting to make some shots and get into it.”

“The new timing system also took a bit of getting used to,” according to team member Sarah Anderson. “But we’re more comfortable with that now.”

Canada 1 recorded their first success with a 7-3 win against New Zealand 1, and Japan’s third victory was 9-2 over the Czech Republic.

The midday round today saw Australia 2 take their first win of the week, and in doing so inflicted the first loss on New Zealand 2.  Matt Panoussi and Jennifer Westhagen scored three in the penultimate end to level the scores and then stole the last.

“Its nice to be on the board,” admitted Panoussi. “The difference was just making a few more shots, not half-shots. And calling the ice for Doubles is a bit different.”

Canada 2 were untroubled to beat China 9-3 and Finland’s second win was against the Koreans 10-2.

“We had never played Mixed Doubles as a team before and it took a while to find our way and get our communication together. And we started to make more shots too, in this game I found my draw weight and Pauli (Jäämies) was really versatile with the middle stones, so it’s starting to get there,” said Finland’s Katja Kiiskinen.

Pool play in the Mixed Doubles tournament will continue through until tomorrow. The six teams in each group all have two games left to play and the top three from each will qualify for the playoffs. The medals will be decided on Thursday 27 August.

Audi quattro Winter Games NZ 2015 continues tomorrow (Wednesday) with day three of competition in the Games’ elite mixed doubles curling tournament at Maniototo International Curling Rink in Naseby, Central Otago. Qualification for the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ Snowboard Big Air, originally scheduled for tomorrow, has been cancelled with all competitors going straight to finals on Sunday. Full results are available on the event website www.wintergamesnz.kiwi. The two downtown Games Villages in Queenstown and Wanaka are open daily from 3pm with live music and DJs, medal ceremonies, the Adventure Film Festival presented by GoPro and aprés ski hospitality.