Undefeated Korea deliver knockout blow to Italy
We haven’t even finished the World Women’s Curling Championship round robin and history is already written.
For the first time since joining the World Curling Federation in 1994, South Korea got off to a 6-0 start following a 7-4 victory over Italy on Tuesday night at the CN Centre.
The key hit of the game came in the eighth, where captain Eun-Jung Kim completed a hit for three, putting the game out of reach.
All five Korean curlers who entered the game ran at 82% or higher. Vice-skip Kyoeng-Ae Kim was almost faultless with a 99% efficiency rating, poorly outperforming third Italian Marta Lo Deserto who ran just 72%.
Korea takes place at a major curling center in the coastal town of Gangneung, site of the 2009 Women’s Championship and the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Despite the hot start, Kim does not watch any opponents on the program.
“Right now we’re focusing on one game at a time and adapting to the ice.”
“There are two main reasons for our success. The first is that we have been a team for a very long time and our other experiences at these championships and at the Olympics have really helped us to perform at this championship.
The Kim Rink has proven itself in big times. At the Pyeongchang Winter Games, they won a silver medal, losing to Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg.
At last month’s Olympics in Beijing, they fell just short of the podium by finishing fourth.
Similar to China and Japan, the sport has grown rapidly in Korea since the mid-1990s.
“I started curling after an arena was built along the countryside where I live. When it comes to curling in Korea in general, literally no one knew what the sport was, but nowadays many people have a better understanding of the game and now understand the strategy. That has definitely changed over the years,” Kim added.
Among all thirds in the tournament, Kim ranks second (88.0) behind only Sara McManus of Sweden who is at 91%.
What’s more, Seon Yeong Kim leads the pack among all the heads in the world of women’s curling with 91% – two points ahead of Swedish star Sofia Mabergs.
Speaking of Sweden, they improved their record to 6-1 after an 8-4 win over Japan. Hasselborg scored at 95% ahead of his compatriot Ikue Kitzawa who was at 72%.
After starting 4-0, the Japanese have been reluctant to lose three games in a row – in the afternoon draw they lost 10-4 to Canadian Kerri Einarson (4-2).
Canada’s only game today (Wednesday) is at 9 am against Sweden.
Canada is tied at three for fourth place with the United States and Denmark also at 4-2.
(Team Canada will get a forfeit win tonight against Scotland, who have returned home due to COVID-19)
Finally, Norway (3-4) found their way back to winning ways after a 10-5 win over winless Turkey (0-6).
The second Norwegian Millie Haslev Nordbye was the best curler with 89%.
This morning’s draw consists of three other games including:
- Switzerland vs Czech Republic
- United States vs Turkey
- Korea vs Denmark
The top six teams advance to the playoffs.
The qualifying matches take place on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and the semi-finals on Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m.
The medal games took place on the ice Sunday at 11 a.m. (for bronze) and 4 p.m. (for gold).
The full ranking is available here.
The full program and results are here.
– with files by Darin Bain