WMDCC 2013 Round-up: Day 6

Czech Republic's Tomas Paul and partner Zuzana Hajkova qualified for the latter stages of the championship Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Following the conclusion of round-robin play at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2013, Switzerland, Hungary, New Zealand, Austria, Scotland and Sweden qualified for the Quarter-finals.

The top two teams in each group qualified directly for the Quarter-finals. The best third placed team, based on their Draw Shot Challenge (DSC) result will also qualify directly, following the conclusion of the Group C tie-breaker at 09:00 (ADT) on Friday April 19, between Netherlands and Norway.

The other two ‘third place’ teams face a qualification game to decide the final Quarter-final place. This qualification game is scheduled for Friday at 13:30 (ADT).

If Norway win the tie-breaker then they finish with the best DSC of all three third placed teams and will qualify directly for the Quarter-finals, which will mean that the Czech Republic will then play Russia in the Qualification game.

If Netherlands win the tie-breaker then Russia has the best DSC of the three third placed teams and will qualify directly for the Quarter-final, while Netherlands will have to play Czech Republic in the Qualification game.

The majority of the Quarter-final line-up is already determined. Scotland will play Sweden in one Quarter-final; Austria will play Hungary in the other while the remaining two Quarter-finals for Switzerland and New Zealand will not be determined until the tie-breaker has been played.

Group A Round-up:
Switzerland guaranteed their play-off spot in Group A’s morning session of play. Although a lot closer than expected, they defeated Spain in seven ends by 5-3.

Elsewhere, Canada kept their play-off hopes alive with a 11-3 win against Korea while Hungary ensured their qualification of the play-offs with a resounding 12-0 win over Romania.

Russia and Italy also played out a tight game, with the Russian’s winning 6-3 to keep their play-off hopes alive.

Russia sat out the evening session which saw Switzerland, who had already qualified, defeat Slovenia 9-3 in seven ends, while Hungary also celebrated their Quarter-final qualification with a win against Italy, by 11-0 in six ends.

Canada needed to beat China in order to gain a tie-breaker with Russia which would decide who finished third in the group, but they came up short as China ran out 6-3 winners after seven ends after running Canada out of stones.

These results meant that Switzerland finished in first position in the Group A standings, Hungary second and Russia in third.

The only other game of the evening draw between Korea and Spain ended with an 11-4 win for the team from Europe.

Group A Player Reaction:
After Switzerland’s win against Spain, which guaranteed them a place in the play-offs, Switzerland’s Martin Rios said: "We don't know who we'll play in the quarters, so there's nothing we can do about it. We try to take it one game at a time. Because now we're in the quarters, but if you lose the quarters you're out. So it's a hard game mentally. We just want to focus on the evening game now and then we'll have  a whole day to focus on the quarters." - Martin Rios

Following their evening session win against Italy, Hungary’s Zsolt Kiss said: “We were playing very well. Dorottya was playing her best tonight, so it was very good that we could achieve this win. But we have to look forward. The first goal was to qualify for the playoffs. But hopefully we can win two more games, at least. We hope that we can win a medal.”

Group B Round-up:
In the morning session of play in Group B, Austria came up against Czech Republic in a game that would decide which of them would qualify first for the play-offs. Austria scored four points in the first end, which proved to be a springboard for them as they remained in front throughout the game, eventually winning by 8-6.

New Zealand joined Austria in qualifying as they won a close encounter with the USA by 6-5, which ended the American’s qualification hopes. This helped New Zealand improve their ranking to 6-1, which secured their place in the Quarter-finals.

In the other morning games, Japan defeated Slovenia 7-6 in an extra end while Denmark defeated Australia 9-4.

The evening session would decide on third position in the group, with both Czech Republic and Japan still in with a chance. However, with the Czech’s on five wins and two losses and Japan on four wins and three losses, the Czech’s just needed to win one more game to qualify.

However the Czech’s seemed to thrive under the pressure as they delivered the victory they needed against France, 7-3 winners in only seven ends which meant that they finished in third position in Group B and because of their DSC will have to play the Qualification game to reach the Quarter-finals.

That result meant that regardless of their 10-1 loss to the USA in seven ends, Japan could not mathematically qualify for the play-off stages of the Championship.

After New Zealand defeated Oceania rivals Australia 7-4, they finished in first position as they had beaten Austria earlier in the round-robin. That meant that they will enter the Quarter-finals directly.

They will be joined in the Quarter-finals by Austria who clinched second position in the standings by picking up their seventh win as they defeated Slovenia 8-4 in seven ends. Although enjoying their first World Mixed Doubles Championship appearance they ended the competition with no wins, along with Romania and England as well.

Group B Player Reaction:
Following their evening victory over Slovenia and making the play-offs, Austria’s Claudia Toth said: “That was our big goal. We knew that it would be tough. We don't play together as much as some of the other teams, and Austria is not a very big curling nation, we're not funded, so it's all a little harder for us. But we're very happy to make the playoffs. Everything that comes now is a bonus.”

After defeating France, the Czech Republic’s Zuzan Hajkova said: “Even though we lost this morning, we knew that this game was still open. Against Austria we had a good game, so we knew if we played the same we would get the win against France. The difference now is that we were able to score two and we weren’t able to earlier in the week, which is a good advantage to have – it might be important in the upcoming games.”

After finishing in first position in the Group B standings after their win against Australia, New Zealand’s Natalie Campbell said: “Tomorrow we just need to make our shots. Weight is so important in this discipline - if we can get our draw weight right, get our rocks in there then hopefully it will go pretty good for us.”

Group C Round-up:
Group C teams played their last session of round-robin play in the afternoon and places in the play-offs were still at stake.

Netherland’s went into their game against Norway knowing that nothing but a win would keep their qualification hopes alive. The lead in this game switched between the teams, but it was the Netherlands who got the better of their European opponents, winning by 7-4 as they finished with six wins and two losses.

With Scotland losing Slovakia 9-7 in this session, and as Sweden had a bye, there were four teams tied on six wins and two losses: Scotland, Sweden, Netherlands and Norway. However, after calculating their win loss record against one another, Scotland and Sweden progressed directly to the Quarter-finals, while the Netherland’s will play Norway in a tie-breaker to decide which of them will finish in third position in the standings.

The only other game in this group saw England end their World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship campaign without a win, as they were defeated 9-6 by Estonia.

Group C Player Reaction:
After defeating Norway, Netherland’s Mark Neeleman said: “It was difficult out there, I was really nervous, but I just took my time in the hack, took a deep breath before every shot and try and relax and focus on what I had to do at the point in time and I managed. I’m still shaking just now, the adrenalin is rushing, but we got it.”

After their loss to Slovakia, but still managing to qualify for the Quarter-finals, Scotland’s Bruce Mouat said: “We've definitely exceeded our expectations. We would have liked to think we could make the quarter-finals, but not in a million dreams, I guess. We're just so happy with it all so far, and hopefully we can keep it going.”

England’s Anna Fowler said: “It’s been pretty tough. Mixed Doubles is a lot different to fours curling. I think if you’re playing badly you lose, that’s what we’ve taken away from this basically. I think Mixed Doubles makes you a more finesse and a more aggressive player. But we’ve enjoyed it, definitely.”

Standings after Round-robin:

Group A:
1. Switzerland 8-0 (To play Quarter-final against Russia or Norway depending on TB result)
2. Hungary 7-1 (To play Quarter-final against Austria)
3. Russia 5-3 (To play Qualification game or Quarter-final depending on TB result)
4. Canada 4-4
5. China 4-4
6. Italy 4-4
7. Spain 3-5
8. Korea 1-7
9. Romania 0-8

Group B:
1.New Zealand 7-1 (To play Quarter-final against Czech Republic, Russia or Netherlands depending on TB and final Qualification game results)
2. Austria 7-1 (To play Quarter-final against Hungary)
3. Czech Republic 6-2 (To play Qualification game against Netherlands or Russia depending on tie-breaker result and DSC of third place teams)
4. USA 4-4
5. Japan 4-4
6. Denmark 3-5
7. France 3-5
8. Australia 2-6
9. Slovenia 0-8

Group C:
1. Scotland 6-2 (To play Quarter-final against Sweden)
2. Sweden 6-2 (To play Quarter-final against Scotland)
3. Netherlands 6-2 (To play Tie-breaker against Norway)
3. Norway 6-2 (To play Tie-breaker against Netherlands)
5. Estonia 4-4
6. Finland 3-5
7. Slovakia 3-5
8. Latvia 2-6
9. England 0-8

World Curling TV will televise the Qualification game for the final Quarter-final place and the Quarter-final game between Scotland and Sweden.

For more information about Mixed Doubles curling, visit: http://wmdcc2013.worldcurling.net/what-is-mixed-doubles-curling

Curling fans around the world can follow live coverage of the event via the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel which can be viewed directly on the event website. Visit  http://wmdcc2013.worldcurling.net/wmdcc-2013-live-coverage-Schedule to see what games will be covered.

News, Results, Live ScoresGalleries and video highlights will be available on the event website: http://wmdcc2013.worldcurling.net

Event Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/2013-World-Mixed-Doubles-and-World-Senior-Championships/102735173215942*quest*ref=hl

Twitter hashtag for the event: #wmdcc2013

The World Senior Curling Championships 2013 are also taking place at the Grant-Harvey Centre alongside the WMDCC. For all News, Live Scores and Galleries visit: http://wscc2013.worldcurling.net/

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