Italy enjoying a great start in the World Wheelchair Curling Qualification

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Before the start of the 2010 World Wheelchair Curling Qualification some of the favourites to qualify included Italy, Switzerland, Japan and China. After the second day of play, all of the favourites are still going strong.

Italy had quite a rough start to the competition as their skip Andrea Tabanelli had to return home on the first day of competition. Despite the changes, the team is doing extremely well and they seem to forming a habit of lulling their opponents into a false sense of security before they strike back. Yesterday in their first game against Russia, they started to climb their way up from 7-3 and eventually won the high scoring game 11-10. In the 2nd game against Denmark this morning, they were already losing 4-0 after three ends, but turned the game around and managed an impressive 6-5 victory by stealing the last three ends in a row. In tonight's evening draw, they continued the same tactics by giving Slovakia a three point lead before they took a three in the 3rd end with two great shots from Edigio Marchese, who is the skip of the team for the week. Italy kept on stealing for a couple more ends and the game ended with another victory for Italy. Despite the rocky start, Italy is leading the competition with three wins after the first three rounds. China, Russia and Switzerland are sharing the second spot with two wins each.

From what we have seen in the first two days, Japan and China look like they will go far in the tournament. They met each other already in the first draw and after China started the game extremely focused and gained a five point lead in the first three ends, Japan made their way back into the game and had a shot to win the game in the last end. Japan did not manage to score the three they needed to ensure an extra end, so China eventually won the game 7-6. The takeout accuracy of the Chinese team is very good and will be a great asset for the team in the course of the week. Both Japan and China were scheduled to play against France today, so both of them have only played two games after three rounds.

The hosts Finland had a tough start to the day in their morning game against Switzerland. Finland made good use of their last stones and kept taking two points whenever they had the hammer, but Switzerland remained in the lead all throughout the game by taking three points in the 3rd and 5th ends. Finland's second game of the day did not start well at all. Latvia was leading 5-0 only after three ends and Finland managed to take only one point from the 4th end. However, Finland kept stealing away in the 5th and 6th ends and finally gained the lead with an impressive steal of three in the 7th end. Thus, the score was 6-5 for Finland before the last end. Before the skip stones, it almost looked like Latvia was going to win the game with a spectacular double raise, but the Finnish 4th Tuomo Aarnikka managed a freeze with his last stone. Latvia only needed one point to go to extra end, but their last draw ended up just 2 cm long and Finland eventually won the game 7-5 after a great comeback and took their first win in the tournament.

Tomorrow's first draw starts 10.30am local time. The games for the morning draw are Switzerland-Slovakia, Denmark-Russia, China-Finland and Italy-Japan. Latvia will have a bye, due to the French not being able to compete.

The schedule, updated team line-ups and results can be found at:

http://www.curling.fi/en/home

A LIVE Daily webcast will cover games scheduled on sheet B:

http://www.curling.fi/fi/kilpailut/curlingkanava

 

On-site Media contact:

Katja Kiiskinen

Kisakallio/Finnish Curling Association

viestinta [at] curling [dot] fi

+358 40 5898 194

 

WCF Media contact:

Joanna Kelly

Media Relations Officer

World Curling Federation

media [at] worldcurling [dot] org

+372 592 442 35