WWCC 2013: Day 1 Early Round-up

Switzerland opened their Championship with a win Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Eight teams were in action in Saturday afternoon's opening session of round-robin play at the Titlis Glacier Mountain World Women's Curling Championships in Riga, Latvia. Among them, Denmark and the USA gave themselves the best possible starts, with unexpectedly easy wins.

USA were facing Italy, who blanked the first four ends looking for a big score, only for their tactic to backfire when they gave up steals of four points in both the fifth and sixth ends. The Italians did finally get on the scoreboard, scoring one point in the seventh end and then stealing two points in the eighth end for an 8-3 score-line, in USA's favour. The Americans scored another two points in the ninth, and then the Italians conceded.

Afterwards, USA skip Erika Brown said: "The ice was a little slow so we didn’t want to get into any trouble early so both teams opted to keep it simple. We tried to get some stuff in play in the third and fourth ends but it took us until the fifth end to get it going. Then the ice seemed to speed up a bit and was uniform across the sheet so we started to play some more finesse shots. We played some great ones in that end to put the pressure on her." About having such a comfortable win so early in the competition she added: "I’m thrilled. I feel comfortable now. The last five ends, the ice seemed like it was going to be great all week.”

Former world champion, Andrea Schoepp, of Germany gave early warning of her intention to be among the medals again this year when her German team beat Russia, the current European champions, by 11-9.

In the fourth end of the game, Schoepp scored two points with a nice draw to move into a 4-2 lead, but Russia went into the lead in the ninth end, when skip, Anna Sidorova, hit to score three points for a 9-8 lead. However, the Germans remained strong in the final end, scoring three points with their last stone, for an 11-9 victory.

Schoepp had to withdraw from last year's Championship, following a serious injury just before the competition started, and, thinking back to that, she said: "I just want to have fun here, and have some good games, then we will see what happens. Anything will be better than laying in a bed in a hospital like last year."

Switzerland and Japan had a tight game. The Swiss were first to move into a clear lead, scoring two points in the third end for 3-1 and then taking another two points in the tenth end to eventually seal their 7-6 win.

Like Germany, China are former winners of the world crown, but they found themselves struggling against Denmark. In the fourth end, their skip Bingyu Wang wrecked on a front guard she was trying to curl around and handed Denmark a steal of three points. She then followed that up in the fifth end by giving up a steal of five points to hand Denmark a 10-0 lead.

Eventually Wang drew nicely for two points in the sixth end, but the damage had already been done by then. After this, Danish skip, Lene Nielsen, drew for one more point in the seventh end, on her way to a comfortable 11-4 win.

After this game, Danish skip Nielsen said: "It's really important that we started with a win. We wanted to keep it simple, get a feel for the ice, and just get started." She added: "We've never beaten this team before. But the ice was quite tricky and both teams struggled with draw-weight and we figured it out on top, so I'm glad about that."

Results:

Session 1: USA 10, Italy 3; Russia 9, Germany 11; Switzerland 7, Japan 6; Denmark 11, China 4.

Standings after session 1:

Denmark won 1 – lost 0
Germany 1-0
Switzerland 1-0
USA 1-0
China 0-1
Italy 0-1
Japan 0-1
Russia 0-1

World Curling TV (WCTV), the television arm of the World Curling Federation, will provide extensive live and video-on-demand coverage to broadcasters around the world. WCF Broadcast Partners for the 2013 World Curling Championships include Eurosport (Eurosport, Eurosport 2 and Eurosport Player) in Europe, NHK in Japan, CCTV-5 in China, Universal Sports Network in the USA, SporTV in Brazil, TSN in Canada (RDS in Quebec).

In addition, Curling fans around the world will be able to follow selected live coverage of the events via the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

Event Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/WorldWomensCurlingChampionship
Event Twitter Hashtags: #wwcc2013 #curling

The Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2014 will take place in St John, New Brunswick, Canada from 15-23 March in the Harbour Station – the same Venue as the 1999 World Championships.

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