WJCC 2013 Women: Scotland and Japan in Play-offs, four others in Tie-breakers

Sweden still have a chance of reaching the Play-offs after reaching the Tie-breakers Photo: WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

Sweden completed a remarkable turn-around on Thursday evening when, after losing their first four games in the Word Junior Curling Championships in Sochi, Russia, they beat Switzerland by 8-3 in the twelfth and final session of women's round-robin play. As a result they secured a place in the tie-breakers and keep their medal, and even title hopes alive.

Earlier in the day, they had beaten Canada by 7-6 to keep their campaign on-track, while other results unfolded in their favour.

These included the Czech Republic beating Russia by 7-3 in the morning session but then going down 7-9 to Denmark in the evening session. As a result the Czech Republic, Denmark, Russia and Sweden all share the same won five, lost four record, behind round-robin leaders Scotland on eight wins and one loss, and second-placed Japan on six wins and three losses.

Scotland and Japan faced each other in Thursday's morning session, when the Japanese beat the Scots by 8-6 to inflict the first defeat of the week on the defending champions. This concluded the Scottish round-robin programme but Japan went on to lose to USA by 6-7 after an extra end in the evening session.

Now, Scotland and Japan face each other in Saturday morning's Page 1 v 2 Play-off, with the winner going directly to the final and the loser waiting for whichever team emerges successfully from Friday's Tie-breaker games to play in the Page 3 v 4 Play-off.

In the Tie-breaker games, the Czech Republic will face Denmark while Russia go in against Sweden, with the winners taking up the positions in the Page 3 v 4 Play-off game. The winner of the 3 v 4 game will then play in the sole Semi-final, while the loser will play the Semi-final loser for bronze medals.

After Scotland's morning loss to Japan, Scotland skip Hannah Fleming was asked if her team had unconsciously relaxed, as they had already qualified. In response she said: "We didn't feel much different this morning, we still wanted to keep our record as good as it has been. It would have been nice to go through undefeated, but maybe it's a blessing in disguise - it'll give us the kick that we need, but no alarm bells, not at all."

Meanwhile Swedish skip Sara McManus said: "This feels so good. We had a rough start that didn't feel good at all at the beginning. We just picked ourselves up and now we're playing good curling. I'm guessing it's nerves for the girls, and me as well. We're just trying to make the easy shots, play some good curling and keep it simple."

For her part, Danish skip Stephanie Risdal, said: "I felt the pressure, totally, because we came from four losses so I was really worried about this game. But we tried to focus on winning," adding: "I think for now we have to be thankful for this game and talk about how it went well. Then we will recover and see how it goes in the Tie-breaker.”

In the only other game of the final session of women’s round-robin play, Canada defeated Norway 8-6 in nine ends. This result saw Canada finish in ninth position and Norway, who are relegated to the European Junior Curling Challenge, finish in tenth.

Session 11: Scotland 6, Japan 8; Czech Republic 7, Russia 3; Sweden 7, Canada 6.

Session 12: Canada 8, Norway 6; USA 7, Japan 6 (extra end); Denmark 9, Czech Republic 7; Switzerland 3, Sweden 8.

Standings after 12 sessions:
Scotland won 8, lost 1 (will play Japan in the 1 v 2 Play-off)
Japan 6-3 (will play Scotland in the 1 v 2 Play-off)
Czech Republic 5-4 (will play Denmark in Tie-breaker, winner progresses to 3 v 4 Play-off)
Russia 5-4 (will play Sweden in Tie-breaker, winner progresses to 3 v 4 Play-off)
Sweden 5-4 (will play Russia in Tie-breaker, winner progresses to 3 v 4 Play-off)
Denmark 5-4 (will play Czech Republic in Tie-breaker, winner progresses to 3 v 4 Play-off)
USA 4-5
Switzerland 3-6
Canada 3-6
Norway 1-8

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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