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China loses to Norway in tiebreaker in Pyeongchang Games curling mixed doubles

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-02-12 10:38
Wang Rui and Ba Dexin of China are during the curling mixed doubles match between China and Norway, Feb 11, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

PYEONGCHANG - China failed to qualify for the semifinals after losing to Norway in a tiebreaker following the round robin session of curling mixed doubles at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics here Sunday evening.

"We tried our best, but our opponents performed better at some key points, especially in the last end, and they controlled the game," said Chinese player Ba Dexin after the match.

"We will try to learn from this game and do better in the future...And we really enjoyed the games," said Ba.

China and Norway, both with four wins and three losses, played a tiebreaker for the last spot in the semifinals in the evening following the round robin session.

China opened the match with a 2-0 lead, but the Norwegians caught up and took the lead 3-2 after the second end.

Both sides gained one more point in the next two ends, and in the fifth, China, with the hammer, turned the tide 5-4 with a spectacular last shot from Wang Rui that knocked out a key stone of the opponents and earned China two points.

The sixth end turned out to be a decisive one in which China mishandled most of the shots and let the Norwegians steal four easy points.

Although the Chinese struggled to retrieve two more points in the seventh, it was too late to stop the Norwegians who sealed the game 9-7 in the eighth.

"We had a key miss in the sixth end, (in fact) a couple of key misses... and that is a big turning point," said China coach Marcel Rocque after the match.

"We knew it would be a tough match. China is a very good team. We did some key shots and had a big end in the sixth where we scored four points. That was the end (in which) we set the game," said Kristin Skaslien from Norway.

Norway lost to China 3-9 in the morning in the last match of the round robin session. Skaslien said that she and her teammate managed to put the morning game behind. "We did something to relax (ourselves), played some air hockey, and tried to not think of curling... That worked," she said.

In contrast, Chinese players were a little stressed out. "They wanted to win so much, and they were under a lot of pressure. After the end in which they lost four points, they had trouble recovering from the loss psychologically and that cost them the game," said another Chinese coach Zhang Zhipeng.

"But our players still want to play better and they want to compete in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. We still have four years to make improvements, and we will learn from the failures," he added.

Eight teams competed in the round robin session of the newly introduced Olympic event, and Canada, Switzerland, Norway, and Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) qualified for the semifinals.

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