Unbeaten Canada make history as Great Britain and Switzerland progress to women’s curling semi-finals
Canada’s women’s curling team made Olympic history as they defeated Republic of Korea 9-4, becoming the first ever team to complete the round robin phase with a perfect record of nine wins out of nine.
The Swiss clinched an impressive 10-6 victory over China to earn third place and set up a semi-final against Sweden. Great Britain meanwhile lost a tense final match against Denmark, going down 8-7 in the extra end.
The Canadians perfect record had appeared at risk early in their match against a Korean rink which was buoyed by an 11-2 win over the USA earlier in the day, and which opened up a surprise 4-1 lead in the first three ends.
However, clearly intent on making history, Canada’s rink was spurred into action, scoring in each of the next six ends without response to force a concession from their opponents in the ninth.
“We’re pretty happy to go through the round robin undefeated in this great field,” said Canadian skip Jennifer Jones. “We feel confident heading into the semi-finals.”
Switzerland and China both went into their final game harbouring hopes of a spot in the last four, but after the two traded points in the first four ends, the Europeans imposed themselves, with a three-pointer in the eighth from skip Mirjam Ott breaking the Chinese resistance.
“My team really performed well, we had to be very strong in this game,” said Ott. “Reaching the semi-finals was our first goal, but now another bonspiel [curling tournament] starts for us.”
Great Britain, who had kept themselves in contention for the semi-finals earlier in the day with a 9-6 win over Russia, looked to be in control in their final match against Denmark, sitting on a 7-4 lead after eight ends.
However, the Danes scored a three-pointer to level in the tenth and force an extra end, running out 8-7 winners with a dramatic last-stone steal.
Like the British rink, Japan had kept themselves in contention with an 8-5 victory over China earlier in the day, but they needed a similar result against European champions Sweden to seal a place in the last four. That proved beyond them, as the Swedes took control after the second end, running out 8-4 winners without the need for a tenth end.
Women’s standings after 12 sessions:
1. Canada 9-0 (face Great Britain in semi-final)
2. Sweden 7-2 (face Switzerland in semi-final)
3. Switzerland 5-4 (face Sweden in semi-final)
4. Great Britain 5-4 (face Canada in semi-final)
5. Japan 4-5
6. Denmark 4-5
7. China 4-5
8. Korea 3-6
9. Russia 3-6
10. USA 1-8