Quarterfinal line up

Team Japan Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Italy and Norway join Canada, Czech Republic, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland and USA in the quarterfinals of the Mixed Team Curling competition at the first Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Norway made the last eight after a 6-3 win in the evening tie-breaker, taking a real lead in the fourth end with a score of three. That win now sets them up against traditional rivals Sweden in the quarterfinals, a game which Skip, Markus Skogvold is relishing. He said: “Before we came I thought if we didn’t get last place that would be great. Now we’re in the quarterfinals it really is amazing, we’re just happy to be there.”

He added: “We’re really good friends with Sweden so it will be a blast. All the pressure will be on them because there’s no expectations on us. I think they reckon they can win the competition so I’m sure they will be nervous tomorrow. We’re just going to go out there and have some fun.”

Italy guaranteed their place following a 7-3 win over Russia in seven ends, which included scores of three in the third and sixth end. This win lifted them into fourth place in the Red Group, behind Japan in third, Canada in second and Sweden who finished top.

Their final standing now means that they face unbeaten USA in the quarterfinals. After their win, Skip, Amos Mosaner was surprised by their success so far in the competition. He said: “It’s a great feeling to win our last match, we are very, very happy. We didn’t plan to reach the Quarter-Finals but we will do our best during the game.”

He added: “My family are delighted for me, not only being out here representing my country, but to reach this stage of the competition as well. They are really excited to see me on television and they are all very proud of our achievements.”

In the final session of the Red Group, Sweden beat Japan 5-4 in a tight game. Japan persisted until the last end but could not match a strong Swedish performance. The win elevated Sweden into first place, setting up the quarterfinal tie with Norway.

Swedish Vice-Skip, Amalia Rudstroem, was pleased to finish in first spot. She said: “It was very important to win this group so that we could get into a good position in the quarterfinals. Perhaps I’m being a little optimistic but I believe we can win the whole thing - I think we can play better and hopefully we have saved our best performances for the knock-out stages.”

Amalia also paid compliment to her Skip, Rasmus Wrana. She said: “I have played in three teams and Rasmus has been the best by a long way. He has so much experience and I have learned an unbelievable amount from him. I have also learnt a lot more on the offensive side of the game since I have been playing in a team with the boys. Girls often play very defensive, while boys play more offensive, so I have improved my confidence in playing a variety of shots and I now understand why people think defensive play is a lot more boring to watch.”

Canada finished their Round-Robin game with a 6-4 win over Germany, stealing a point in the fourth end and another two in the sixth on their way to victory. This means that Canada will now meet the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals and Canadian Second, Derek Oryniak, is feeling confident.

He said: “We really wanted to win to carry momentum over to the play-offs, and we’re very happy with the win. We knew if we played well we would have a chance of winning and that’s what we’ve done. I think we will be playing the Czech’s, who are a good team so it will be a big challenge. Of course, we have a chance - if we play our best we should be up there and we’re all really looking forward to it.”

Great Britain also finished on a high, winning 9-1 against hosts Austria who can reflect on a great experience during this competition. Great Britain feel they were only getting started as the Round-Robin stage drew to a close, but as Second Thomas Muirhead explains, this event is more than just the competition.

He said: “The last three games we performed very well, it’s just a shame that we didn’t play like that at the start of the competition. But that’s what you take away from these competitions, you learn from them. You’ve got to start how you mean to finish it, so you have to perform at your best throughout the competition.”

He added: “We’ve learnt a lot this week, a lot of the stuff that goes on behind the scenes, and it’s something we’re going to have to get used to the more curling competitions we play in over the next few years.”

The quarterfinals begin at 09:00 (local / CET) on Wednesday 18 January. Canada play the Czech Republic and Italy meet the USA, Sweden face Norway while Japan play Switzerland.

The winners meet in the semifinals which begin at 13:00 local.

The Gold and Bronze medal games take place at 17:00 local.

The final standings of the Mixed Teams will then determine the teams for the unique Mixed Doubles competition where one male and one female curler, from different nations, join together in the second curling competition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Curling fans will be able to keep up to date with the latest scores from the event via the World Curling Federation micro-site: http://www.innsbruck2012.worldcurling.net

The World Curling Federation will also be updating regularly from the event via their fan feeds on Twitter http://twitter.com/worldcurling and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/WorldCurlingFederation

A daily highlights video clip covering all of the Winter Olympic sports taking place at the Games will be available on the Innsbruck 2012 YouTube site http://www.youtube.com/innsbruck2012


Blue Group

1 USA - United States of America 7 7 0 (Qualified)
2 SUI - Switzerland 7 6 1 (Qualified)
3 CZE - Czech Republic 7 4 3 (Qualified)
4 NOR - Norway 7 3 4 (Qualified, won tie-break)
5 CHN - China 7 3 4 (Lost tie-break)
6 KOR - Korea 7 2 5
7 NZL – New Zealand 7 2 5
8 EST – Estonia 7 1 6

Red Group

1 SWE – Sweden 7 6 1 (Qualified)
2 CAN - Canada 7 5 2 (Qualified)
3 JPN – Japan 7 4 3 (Qualified)
4 ITA - Italy 7 4 3 (Qualified)
5 GBR - Great Britain 7 3 4
6 RUS - Russian Federation 7 3 4
7 AUT – Austria 7 2 5
8 GER - 7 1 6

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