Winter Youth Olympic Games - Day 7 - Evening Update
January 20, 2012
At the end of the first knockout round of the Mixed Doubles Curling Competition, all 16 nations involved in the curling event at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games have at least one athlete who has made it through to the next round on Saturday.
In all, 32 teams played in the first knockout round on Friday and 16 go through to the next stage. It is a unique event where teams are comprised of one male and one female athlete, each from a different nationality. It is the first time that Mixed Doubles has been played at an Olympic event and mixing up the athletes is a unique twist.
In Friday evening’s round, Estonia’s Kerli Zirk and Sweden’s Rasmus Wrana had an 8-1 win over Stine Haalien (NOR) and Alexandr Korshunov (RUS).
“We were lucky we could both speak the same language as it helped us communicate better on the ice,” said Zirk. “I really enjoyed Mixed Doubles, it was fun but took a little while to get used to. We knew either team could score lots of points every end so we needed to stay focused. Rasmus played really well and we stuck to our tactics which was why we won by so many points I think.”
It was a clean sweep too for Mako Tamakuma from Japan and Minhyeon Yoo from Korea. They beat Germany’s Frederike Manner and Canada’s Derek Oryniak 14-1.
The remaining two games were full of suspense. Amos Mosaner who skipped Italy to silver in the mixed team competition was paired with Irena Brettbacher from Austria. Their opponents, Alzbeta Baudysova (CZE) and Yang Bai (CHN) were leading 6-3 by the 6th end. But the Italian/Austrian pair fought back and eventually Mosaner took three to win 10-9.
“It was great to play Mixed Doubles - it’s a nice change from traditional curling,” commented Brettbacher. “We had a lot of fun and really happy that we won! We played really well and I think we learnt a lot from each other.”
New Zealand’s Eleanor Adviento and Switzerland’s Romano Meier faced Taylor Anderson (USA) and Duncan Menzies (GBR). It was a very tight game, full of suspense with some excellent shot making from both sides. The game went to an extra end, with the USA/GBR pair stealing an 8-7 win when Adviento’s last draw was short.
In the late afternoon session, China’s Ying Yang and Tom Howell from the USA dominated their opponents – Lisa Gisler from Switzerland and Austria’s Mathias Genner to secure a 10-2 win.
“I am very happy and excited about our performance today. He [Howell] is an excellent player and I can learn a lot from him,” said Yang afterwards. “I really like this game. I don’t think it is important to win, just to enjoy ourselves and we are certainly doing that.”
Korea’s Eunbi Kim and Norway’s Martin Sesaker had a 9-3 win over Sweden’s Amalia Rudstroem and Germany’s Kevin Lehmann.
“It was fun, I think I learned a lot in one match,” admitted Sesaker afterwards. “Based on how we played today, I want to play more, and why not, I think we could go all the way. Of course, it’s difficult with the language. She [Kim] doesn’t speak much English. But we communicate through body language, so it works out well.”
The Russian-Japanese duo of Anastasia Moskaleva and Tsukasa Horigome kept Emily Gray (CAN) and Robert-Kent Paell from Estonia at bay and won their game 8-2.
“I was quite nervous but I was glad that we won today,” admitted Horigome. “We understand each other using curling language, like tapping the house or the stone, so it was fine.”
In the final game of the late afternoon session, Great Britain’s Rachel Hannen and Czech Marek Cernovsky faced Denise Pimpini from Italy and her partner David Weyer from New Zealand.
On winning the game 8-5 Cernovsky said: “It was my first time that I played mixed doubles but I still didn’t know what to expect. I really enjoyed the game and hope Rachel did also - it’s always more fun when you win! She had a very good game, her draw shots were very good and saved the game for us.”
More quotes from the sessions visit: http://innsbruck2012.curlingevents.com/news
Instead of playing in teams of four, mixed doubles curling is for teams of two players – one male and one female. The game is played on the same sheets of ice as ‘traditional’ curling.
Teams have only six stones each (instead of eight) and one of those stones, from each team, is prepositioned on the centreline before each end of play starts. One player delivers the first and last stones and the other player plays the 2nd, 3rd and 4th stones. The two players can swap positions from one end to the next if they choose. The sweeping can be done by both team members.
Curling fans can keep up to date with the latest scores from the event via the World Curling Federation micro-site: http://www.innsbruck2012.curlingevents.com
The World Curling Federation is also be updating regularly from the event via their fan feeds on Twitter http://twitter.com/worldcurling and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/WorldCurlingFederation