Day 2 Early Roundup

Skip Thomas Ulsrud and his team are still undefeated Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

After Sunday afternoon's fourth session of round-robin play at the CPT World Men's Curling Championship, presented by Ford of Canada, a 7-5 win over Sweden put Germany into a clear lead on the standings, with a record of three wins and no losses.

Playing in the Capital Gymnasium in Beijing, China, Germany made the key break-through with a single-point steal in the fourth end to take the lead for the first time at 3-2.

With the teams tied at 5-5 after eight ends, Germany controlled the closing stages, blanking the ninth end to keep last stone advantage and using it to score two points in the tenth end for their 7-5 win.

After this win, Germany fourth player Felix Schulze said: “We had a very bad Olympic Games and we've re-focused here. We have enough power to compete well and we can improve. I think we have to keep on fighting - not feeling relaxed and comfortable, it's only the beginning of the week."

Norway, who have played one game less than Germany, are the only other undefeated team, with two wins.

In Sunday's play, they beat Denmark by 8-3, opening strongly with two points in the first end and then a single-point steal in the second end for a 3-0 lead.

They were 5-2 up at the fifth end break, and a further two points in the sixth end, followed by a single point score in the eighth end for an 8-3 lead were enough to persuade Denmark to concede.

Following their victory, Norway skip Thomas Ulsrud said: “The Olympics was really hard. I've never practised as much as I did this season and we are disappointed that we finished fifth in the Olympics. We have something to prove to ourselves and people back in Norway, so we're going to push hard this week."

USA faced Russia in the afternoon session. This game was tight all the way with the teams being level on three occasions - at 1-1 after two ends; 3-3 after seven ends; and then the Russians carved out a single-point steal, at 5-5 after ten ends to force an extra end.

In that extra end, USA skip Pete Fenson drew his last stone onto the button to score the one point needed for his team's first win of the week.

Afterwards, a relieved Shawn Rojeski, USA's vice skip, summed it up for his team by saying: “Getting that first win is important, that’s for sure."

For the second year in a row at a World Men’s Championship, Japan beat Canada, this time by 9-6.

Canada looked comfortable at the fifth end break with a 5-2 lead, but Japan scored three points in the sixth end to level the game at 5-5.

Japan then stole a single point in the seventh end to take the lead for the first time in the game, at 6-5. Eventually, a two-point steal in the tenth end gave Japan their win, at 9-6.

Speaking after this win, Japan's lead player Kosuke Morozumi said: “It’s good to win against Canada. They were good but I don’t think they were up to their normal standards. This is our second time to beat Canada but to win against them is always exciting for us."

Earlier hosts China had beaten Scotland 11-8 after an extra end and Switzerland had a 9-4 victory over the Czech Republic in the only two games of the third round-robin session.

In the game between China and Scotland, China had the early advantage, leading 3-1 after three ends and by 6-2 after six ends.

Scotland fought back however and levelled the game at 8-8 after ten ends to force an extra end.

In this, China skip Rui Liu knocked out a Scottish stone to score three points and win. Afterwards, he said: "I feel very lucky and very happy to be playing in my home country in front of such a big audience.”

Against the Czechs, Switzerland had an 8-3 lead after seven ends which proved too strong a position for the Czech team. They decided to concede to the Swiss after nine ends with the final score 9-4 to the Swiss.

After this win, Swiss skip Peter de Cruz said: “The key to winning was simply rock placement - we really had the angles that whole game and he (Czech skip Jiri Snitil) had a really rough time drawing to the pin in some ends to save the ends.”

RESULTS
Session 3:
China 11, Scotland 8 (extra end); Switzerland 9, Czech Republic 4.

Session 4: Sweden 5, Germany 7; Japan 9, Canada 6; Denmark 3, Norway 8; USA 6, Russia 5.

STANDINGS
After 4 sessions of play:

1. Germany 3-0
2. Norway 2-0
3. Sweden 2-1
4. Canada 1-1
4. China 1-1
4. Czech Republic 1-1
4. Japan 1-1
4. Switzerland 1-1
9. Russia 1-2
9. USA 1-2
11. Denmark 0-2
11. Scotland 0-2

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 from Beijing. WCF Broadcast Partners for the event include CCTV in China, Eurosport in Europe, Universal Sports Network in the USA, SporTV in Brazil, TSN in Canada (RDS in Quebec). http://wmcc2014.worldcurling.net/schedule

In addition, Curling fans around the world will be able to follow selected live coverage of the 2014 World Championship events via the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

Event Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WorldMensCurlingChampionship

Twitter: @worldcurling and @WCFmedia
Hashtags: #WMCC2014 and #curling

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