WJCC 2013: Russia men and women to play gold medal games

Russia men and women will play in the gold medal games Photo: WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

Russia had a historic evening at the World Junior Curling Championships in Sochi, Russia on Saturday when both their men's and women's teams produced come-from-behind semi-final wins to go on to face Scotland in both gold medal finals on Sunday. This now guarantees that Russia will win medals at this level for the first time.

In the women's semi-final, Japan took the early lead, scoring two points in the first end. Russia could only score one point in the second end, and then Japan moved further ahead in the third end when skip, Sayaka Yoshimura, drew inside three Russian counters to score one point for 3-1.

In the fourth end, Russia's fourth player, Yulia Portunova, had a complete miss, and Japan took a steal of one point for a 4-1 lead. Russia then steadied their game, scoring one point in the fifth end, but Japan moved even further ahead with two more points in the sixth for an seemingly unassailable 6-2 lead.

However, Russia fought back, scoring two points in the seventh end when Japan skip Yoshimura rolled out with her final stone, leaving Portunova with a draw for two points, and then levelling the game with a steal of two more points in the eighth end.

In the ninth end, Yoshimura was left with a difficult long run-back which did not come and Russia stole a further two points to take the lead for the first time in the game, at 8-6. In the tenth end, Japan ran out of stones and Russia had their historic victory.

Afterwards, Russian skip Alina Kovaleva, said: "I'm feeling fantastic and full of emotion because the game wasn't going great from the beginning but we did it. This was probably the most important game, even though tomorrow is the final. The main goal was to get a medal so today's game was the most important. That's why we got ourselves together and got the win".

In the men's game, Canada looked to be in control early on. They opened by scoring two points in the first end with a nice double take-out by skip Matt Dunstone. Russia responded with their own two points in the second end when skip, Evgeniy Arkhipov, drew into the house.

The teams swapped two points again in the third and fourth ends and, in the fifth end, Dunstone produced another good draw to score a further two points for a half-time 6-4 lead.

In the sixth end, following great sweeping by the whole team on his last stone, Arkhipov could score only one point and in the seventh end. Canada moved into a 7-5 lead with a good double take-out by Dunstone with his last stone in the seventh end.

Russia came right back into the game after this, with Arkhipov nudging up one of his own stones to score two points in the eighth end and level the score at 7-7. They then stole a single point in the ninth end when Dunstone had a complete miss.

Canada could only manage one point in the tenth with a draw by Dunstone and this put the game into an extra end.

Eventually, in this end, Arkhipov had a straightforward hit out on a Canadian stone to score three and win by 11-8.

Afterwards, elated Russian skip, Evgeniy Arkhipov said: "It's incredible, it was a very nervous game and it's all very emotional."

Asked about his last stone in the extra end, he said: "I was just thinking I had to get the stone in the house to make the final. We have to thank our coach for our form, but we've worked very hard too," and asked if Russia could win two golds, he responded with an emphatic "yes".

RESULTS

Men’s Semi-final: Canada 8, Russia 11
Women’s Semi-final: Japan 6, Russia 8

Standings after Men’s Semi-final:
Scotland won 9, lost 1
Russia 9-2
Canada 7-4
Sweden 6-4
5. Norway 5-4
6. Italy 5-4
7. USA 4-5
8. Switzerland 2-7
9. China 1-8
10. Czech Republic 0-9

Standings after Women’s Play-offs:
Scotland won 9, lost 1
Russia 8-4
Japan 6-5
Czech Republic 6-5
5. Sweden 5-5
6. Denmark 5-5
7. USA 4-5
8. Switzerland 3-6
9. Canada 3-6
10. Norway 1-8

Medal Game Schedule:

Men (09:00 MSK)
Gold: Scotland v Russia
Bronze: Canada v Sweden

Women (13:00 MSK)
Gold: Scotland v Russia
Bronze: Japan v Czech Republic

Both gold medal games on http://wjcc2013.worldcurling.net/

Curling fans around the world will be able to follow live coverage of the event on the event website http://wjcc2013.worldcurling.net and the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel World Curling TV.

The live coverage schedule is available along with news, live scores, shot by shot and galleries on the event website: http://wjcc2013.worldcurling.net

World Junior Curling Championships Facebook Page: Hit ‘like’ to keep updated: http://www.facebook.com/WorldJuniorCurlingChampionships

Twitter hashtag for the event: #wjcc2013

The World Junior Curling Championships 2014 will take place in Flims, Switzerland, from 26 February to 5 March 2014 in the Waldhaus Curling Arena.

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