March 14, 2008

Friday Mixed Doubles: The Semifinals

There was jubilation for the home nation today in World Mixed Doubles curling as Anne Malmi and Jussi Uusipaavalniemi eliminated the Canadians in the second qualifying round in Vierumaki.

Perhaps a quick explanation is in order about how the event was organised. There were three sections with eight teams in each. The top qualifiers in each section went into the semis, and the idea was that the three second placed teams in each section would fight it out for the fourth semifinal spot. In two of the sections there was no problem. Norway and Switzerland were the top teams, with Finland and the Czech Republic in second place. In the third section, three teams were tied. Sweden went through on ranking using the Draw Shot Challenge.

Canada's Dean Ross and Susan O'Connor, neither of whom had played this discipline before coming to Vierumaki, survived a tiebreaker against Hungary, to be placed second in the group. It was now three teams fighting for the reamining semifinal place. The two with the worse DSC distances played off first, and Canada won this against the Czech Republic.

But the second game against the Finns was a thriller which went to an extra end, with Malmi and Uusipaavalniemi stealing the win.

So Norway's pair of Tormod Andreassen and Linn Githmark, a father-daughter combo known to many Scots fans of the sport, lined up against Toni Mueller and Irene Schori, who had looked really good all week. It was no contest. After two ends the Norwegians were 6-0 down. In Mixed Doubles large deficits can be overcome, but in this case the Swiss pair were too strong and ran out well ahead.

Sweden's Goran Carlsson and Marie Persson faced the Finns. The local favourites ran out to a 5-0 lead by the break, and although the teams played out the full eight ends in front of an excited crowd, it is a Finland v Switzerland match for the Gold tomorrow.

You can find all the linescores here, and also the WCF reports here.

Jussi Uusipaavalniemi

Tormod Andreassen and Linn Githmark

Irene Schori

Anne Malmi, with Goran Carlsson and Marie Persson behind, and a raft of Swedish supporters.

Pics by Bob.

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