Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Homan finishes atop standings

SAINT JOHN, N.B.—Canada’s Rachel Homan had ideal preparation for the playoffs at the Ford World Curling Championships with a pair of hard-fought wins over tenacious opponents yesterday.
The Canadians defeated Sweden 9-6 and China 6-4 to finish atop the preliminary-round standings at 10-1. Their execution yesterday was the sharpest of the tournament so far.

The games were tight, with Homan and her Ottawa Curling Club teammates scoring three in the eighth ends of both.
“We were really pushed today,” Homan noted.
“It was great we were able to control the game and stay confident with this team, and really nail the lines and make the big shots when we needed them.
“We had to fight for our points,” she added.
Homan will face Switzerland’s Binia Feltscher, whose round-robin record was 9-2, in today’s playoff game between the top two seeds.
The winner books a ticket to Sunday’s gold-medal game. The loser drops to tomorrow’s semi-final.
Canada’s lone loss of the preliminary round was to the Swiss.
It went so badly for the host country in ends five through eight, in fact, that they shook hands early last Sunday.
“That was a little bit of a lopsided game,” Homan acknowledged.
“We had some misfortune but I think we’re a little bit different now,” she noted.
“We’re going to know the rocks and it’s going to be on a different sheet and everything, so I think it should be a great game.”
Russia’s Anna Sidorova, Sweden’s Margaretha Sigfridsson, and South Korea’s Ji-sun Kim all finished tied at 8-3.
Sidorova will play in tomorrow morning’s playoff between the third and fourth seeds, with the winner advancing to the semi-final.
Russia’s opponent will be the victor of this afternoon’s tie-breaker between the Swedes and South Koreans.
China and Allison Pottinger of the U.S. were just outside playoff contention at 6-5, with Germany’s Imogen Oona Lehmann and Anna Kubeskova of the Czech Republic ending their tournaments 3-8.
Scotland’s Kerry Barr and Denmark’s Madeleine Dupont had 2-9 records, ahead of Latvia’s Evita Regza at 1-10.
The beauty of finishing in the top two is the loser of tonight’s game still can get to the championship game—albeit via a longer route.
“We love the one-two game,” Homan said. “There’s not much pressure. “Either way, we’ve got a chance at the gold-medal game,” she noted.
“That’s what we’re gunning for now.”

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