|Maniototo Curling International, Naseby||19 - 28 August 2011|
28 August 2011 – It was Korea’s day today as they won Gold Medals in both the Men’s and Women’s Fours at the 100% Pure NZ Winter Games curling events. In both matches, the Koreans beat the round-robin topping Chinese teams.
Hungary took Gold in the Mixed Doubles. The Hungarian husband and wife team of Gyorgy Nagy and Ildiko Szekeres, World silver medalists in 2009, beat Japan in the final of one of the strongest fields ever assembled outside the World Championships.
The Men’s Fours and Women’s Fours played for Bronze on the first game of the final day of curling events. In the Women’s Fours Japan took on New Zealand in a game that was evenly matched until the end of the sixth 3 all. Japan took 5 points in the following three ends to head out to a lead 8-3 and victory after nine ends.
In the Men’s Fours for Bronze Australia took on the New Zealand Men. It was a low-scoring game with 4-3 after the seventh to Australia. Two stones on the outside of the button at the end of the eighth called for a measure. The umpire had to measure twice and eventually called in Australia’s favour. New Zealand managed to come back and level the scores at 5-all after the ninth, with Australia having last-stone advantage going into the decisive tenth end. It was cluttered round the 2 foot circle as New Zealand delivered their last stone in a take out that left a stone of each outside of the button. Australia’s great delivery on their last stone took shot and 1 point giving them the win 6-5.
Ian Palangio who delivered the shot said, “It was a close game and the score was back and forth and we matched each other shot for shot. In the ninth New Zealand got 2 which gave us a tie. With lots of rocks in play we decided to be aggressive and draw around the guards rather than peel them. Peter de Boer made an incredible double takeout on his last but left the button open so then I had to draw full button for the win to the delight of the Aussie supporters. The Kiwis played very well - it was a great game!”
The Men’s and Women’s Fours Game for Gold was held in the second round of the day. In both games Korea played China with the Chinese having hammer advantage in the first end.
It was a tight game for Gold in the Women’s Fours with a score of 4 all at the fifth end break and 6-4 to Korea after the seventh. Korea extended their lead in the eighth with 1 point. On their last shot of the ninth Korea delivered a take out to get shot stone and one more in the house. China answered with a beautiful delivery that took shot and gave them 1 point narrowing the margin by 2. On their last stone of the tenth China needed to score 3 points to win the game. They tapped up but didn’t manage to get their stone close enough to the button. Korea replied with a delivery that was too light and stopped in front of the house. The umpire was asked to measure to see if China’s second stone was closer to the button but ruled in Korea’s favour giving them the win 7-6. Korean Skip Ji Sun Kim summed the game up by saying, “Today was very good. It was very exciting”.
In the Men’s Fours Gold Medal game Korea and China were tied 4 all at the end of the sixth. Korea was up 6-4 at the end of the seventh and 6-5 at the end of the eighth. On their last shot of the ninth China delivered a perfect stone to get shot. Korea answered with an aggressive take out that took shot and gave them 3 points to win the game 9-5.
The Mixed Doubles Gold and Bronze games were the final matches for the tournament and again the supporters showed up at the Maniototo Curling International ice rink to cheer on the teams. New Zealand was playing Switzerland for the Bronze, and the Gold Medal was contested by Hungary and Japan.
Japan opened the scoring with 1 point and Hungary followed with three wins and a lead of 4-1 after the fourth. Japan’s last delivery of the sixth was a bit too heavy and failed to find shot. Hungary had three stones in the house including shot as they delivered their last stone for four ends giving them an 8-2 lead. The house was cluttered in the seventh with Japan having shot and a total of eight stones in the house. Hungary took their final shot and managed to hog their guard. Japan stepped up to the hack but their delivery was too light and they only picked up 2 points and not the 3 they were aiming for. Hungary took the 8-4 win and the Gold Medal, with Japan taking the Silver Medal. Gyorgy Nagy from Hungary said, “We would like to thank all the people of New Zealand as their hospitality to us was excellent. We loved to be here and we enjoyed our stay and I think that helped us to win our events.”
New Zealand had plenty of support in their Bronze Medal game. Switzerland opened the scoring and led 5-3 going into the fifth, but Bridget Becker pulled off a difficult triple raise promotion to score one in the fifth. With last stone to play in the seventh New Zealand had shot and three in the house. The stone sat nicely inside the house and she took 3 points with the umpire needing to measure for a fourth but Switzerland’s stone was closer and New Zealand took the lead 7-6 going into the final eighth end. Switzerland had shot stone and two more in the house as New Zealand delivered their last stone. It was too light and Switzerland took 1 point giving them a draw of 7-all and an extra end to play.
The pressure showed for the players in the extra end as New Zealand hogged one of their stones and Switzerland missed their take-out stone entirely. New Zealand had shot with one stone to play after Switzerland played their last stone giving the New Zealand team of Sean and Bridget Becker the Bronze Medal with a win of 8-7. Sean said, “It was a very hard game between two great teams. It was a fantastic result for us – especially after we lost a couple of other games on last rocks. It was great to win a medal for New Zealand at the Winter Games.”
The on-ice Closing Ceremony and Medal Presentation followed. Pipers Jock Scott and Ewan Mason led the procession followed by the dignitaries and then the teams, with New Zealand bringing up the rear. Peter Becker was the Master of Ceremonies and Gerald Dowling, Chairman of Maniototo Curling International, presented the medals. The Women’s Fours were presented first – Bronze to Japan, Silver to China and Gold to Korea. The Men’s Fours were next – Bronze to Australia, Silver to China and Gold to Korea. Peter Becker had the pleasure of then presenting the Mixed Doubles with their medals including his two children Sean and Bridget from the New Zealand team with their Bronze Medals. The Silver was awarded to Japan, Gold to Hungary.
Each of the winning teams was awarded a curling trophy made up of an Oamaru and Greenstone curling stone mounted on a wooden base.
28 August 2011 – The playoff action all started when the Woman’s Fours semi-finals and Men’s Fours semi-finals were held last night (Saturday 27 August) to a fantastic crowd at the Maniototo Curling International ice rink where there was standing room only.
The action all started when the Woman’s Fours semi-finals and Men’s Fours semi-finals were held last night (Saturday 27 August) to a fantastic crowd at the Maniototo Curling International ice rink where there was standing room only.
The New Zealand Women had a big challenge ahead of them when they faced China. The Kiwis picked up a few points throughout the game but China dominated and eventually won 12-3.
Korea played Japan in the second Women’s semi-final. It was a close game with a 5 all scoreline at the end of the seventh. Japan had shot as they threw their last stone of the eighth but if failed to reach the hog line. Korea delivered a hit and lie to pick up 2 points and the lead 7-6. At the end of the ninth Korea had shot with three other stones in the house. Japan had last stone and delivered a great take out shot to score 2 and a tie the match up at 8 all going into the final tenth end. Japan was too heavy with their last stone draw and lost the game 9-8 to Korea.
China took on the New Zealand Men. In the fourth end New Zealand were down 1-3 with the last stone to play. They delivered a risky takeout with heavy weight hoping the tap back would give them 3 points. Peter de Boer succeeded with a shot that left no margin for error to give New Zealand a lead of 4-3 after the fourth end. The stones were flying fast and furious in the sixth end. New Zealand’s triple take out was followed by a double take out by China. The pace continued with New Zealand producing a hit and roll behind the guard followed by a delicate tap back to give them 2 points and a 6-5 advantage. It was an intense tenth end for the large crowd watching as New Zealand managed to draw to tie the game 8 all and go into extra an extra end. China had the hammer advantage and made use of it to score the single they needed for a 9-8 win.
In the othermatch,Korea battled it out with Australia. It was 6-3 to Korea after six ends but Australia fought back in the next two ends to narrow the margin 6-5 after the eighth. Korea won the ninth end with 3 points putting them four ahead of Australia and winning the match 9-5, and a place in the final against China.
27 Aug 2011 – The pressure was on for the players at Naseby's Maniototo International Curling Rink during today's semi-final action at the 100% Pure NZ Winter Games.
Twelve teams were vying for places in tomorrow's Gold Medal matches in the Women's Fours, Men's Fours and Mixed Doubles competitions.
The Men’s Fours played their last round robin games yesterday afternoon. They were all very one-sided encounters, with the New Zealand teams struggling to score.
The New Zealand Juniors lost 3-11 to China, the New Zealand Men lost 8-3 to Korea and the New Zealand Seniors lost to Australia 9-1. Ian Palangio from the Australian team said, “We played pretty well and we got lucky in the last two ends as New Zealand were close to scoring multiple points. They were unlucky to just miss the final shot at each end”. Japan had the bye.
The Women’s Fours double round robin wrapped up after Friday's evening matches. The New Zealand Juniors took on China. Despite the Juniors managing to win two ends, the game was definitely in China’s control – they scored a tournament-high 6 points in the fifth end and won 13-3 at the end of the seventh. Kelsi Heath from the New Zealand team commented, “China was a difficult team but we gave it our best shot. We accidentally burned a stone on the fifth end which was drawing against six”.
Korea took on Japan. It was a close game until the fourth end when Korea amped it up a gear and won the next four ends and the game after the eighth 7-3. The New Zealand Women had the bye.
The New Zealand and Latvia Mixed Doubles teams had to play in a tie-break this morning, with the winner qualifying for the semi-finals. New Zealand scored 4 in the first end and carried on strongly, the game ending at 10-1 after four ends to put the Kiwis into the semi-finals. Dace Regza from the Latvia team was suffering from a knee injury and this is likely to have been a contributing factor to their game.
The Mixed Doubles semi-finals were held right after the tie-break. Switzerland played Japan who could do no wrong early, scoring 2 in each of the first three ends to go ahead 6-0. Switzerland won the fourth end and picked up a couple, but Japan retaliated with 3 points to lead 9-2. On the last delivery of the sixth, Switzerland had shot and two in the house. Japan also had four stones in the house. Reto Seiler delivered the last shot to pick up 2 and close the deficit to 4-9. Japan scored again in the seventh and won the game after the end 10-4.
New Zealand took on Hungary who were always going to be tough competitors – particularly considering New Zealand had already played in the tie-break mere hours earlier. Hungary opened the scoring with 3 points in the first end. New Zealand came back with 2 points in the second. Hungary answered by winning the next two ends and to give them a 5-2 lead at the fouth-end break.
A great double raise takeout by Sean Becker in the fifth helped clear the way for New Zealand to pick up 3 points and get back in the game 5 all. Hungary picked up 1 point in the next two ends putting them ahead 7-5 after seven.
It was a tense eighth end with a good number of spectators watching the game and hoping the New Zealand team could come back. It was a cluttered house with the last two stones to throw. New Zealand had shot and three more in the house, and Hungary had three in the house. On their last delivery Hungary hit and rolled their stone in towards the button leaving New Zealand still as shot but with a difficult last delivery to get the elusive 2 points. Bridget Becker delivered the stone which slightly over-curled and gave them only 1 point, so Hungary took the match 7-6 to qualify for tomorrow's Gold Medal game against Japan. Switzerland and New Zealand will play for bronze.
26 Aug 2011 – There was plenty of tension at the Maniototo Curling International ice rink today as the sides fought for a place in the semi-finals of the 100% Pure NZ Winter Games.
The Mixed Doubles round-robin ended with a real log jam at the top of the leaderboard. Five teams finished with a 5 win - 3 loss record, forcing a tiebreaker to find who would be the four to go through to the semi-finals and who would miss out.
The sixth round of the Men’s competition was played yesterday afternoon.
Australia played the New Zealand Juniors and led from the start, up 8-1 after five ends. On their last delivery of the sixth the Australian team set up a guard to protect their shot stone and two other stones in the house. Sam Miller delivered a beautiful hit and roll to get shot and take 1 point. In the seventh the Juniors had shot stone with four Australian stones also in the house and delivered their last stone to sit front of house. The Australians last stone was tight and hit the guard to give the Juniors a steal. The Juniors last shot of the eighth was too heavy and finished at the back of the house, so the Aussies picked up a 3 and an 11-3 win.
The New Zealand Senior Men played Japan, and they scored their first points of the game in the fifth end to trail the Japanese 2-7 at the break. In the sixth the Seniors had shot and another in the house, and set up a guard on their last delivery. Japan took out the Seniors’ second stone leaving them with shot and a consolation steal. Japan came back with 4 points over the next two ends to take the match 11-3. David Greer from the New Zealand team put it down to opportunity. “We had our chances – they gave us a lot and we took one or two but missed quite a few too. The 3 pointers that we lost hurt us. There shouldn’t have been that big a margin on the scoreboard the way the teams played. The end that we did play really well we managed to create a steal and nearly stole two.”
The New Zealand Men played China in a gripping, low-scoring game with four blank ends and the Chinese led 4-2 after nine ends. In an exciting tenth end New Zealand had the advantage of the hammer and needed to score at least 2 points to stay in the game. On their last delivery, China managed to take out the New Zealand shot and leave their stone in the house. New Zealand attempted to raise their stone back onto shot stone but missed, so China had the steal and a 5-2 win. Korea had the bye.
The Mixed Doubles teams were first up on the final day of round robin events. New Zealand played Australia in an exciting match watched by a good number of spectators. Australia’s 4 points in the fifth end helped them out to a 9-6 lead coming into the last end. On Australia’s last delivery of the eighth they delivered a long run back to reduce the number of New Zealand stones in the house. They tried to get two stones out but only managed to get one. New Zealand had shot with two stones in the house and delivered their last stone to also sit in the house and take 3 and tie the scores up at 9 all. Australia made no mistake with hammer in the extra end and picked up the point they needed for a 10-9 victory.
Finland trailed throughout their match with Japan, and after seven ends were behind 3-6. In the eighth and final end, the Finns had five stones in the house but the Japanese pair held shot. On Japan’s last delivery they hit their guard with their stone sitting right on the front of the house. It was a difficult last shot for Finland who needed to secure 3 points to draw or 4 points to win. Paavo Kuosmanen's stone failed to curl and left Japan’s shot stone in place, so Japan had a 7-3 victory. Japanese player Tomoko Tomabechi said “We are relieved we won today’s game and can now go to the semi-final tomorrow. We want to challenge Switzerland because they beat us last time and we want to enjoy the game.”
Hungary started strongly against China, gaining a 5-0 lead after the first three ends and ahead 6-2 after six. Another double in the seventh game them an 8-2 result. The Latvia - USA match stayed close until Latvia picked up a 4 in the sixth, and they then stole the next to take the win 8-4. Switzerland had the bye.
When the teams came off the ice the pressure went on to Chief Umpire Pat Edington. After looking at head-to-head results and total draw shot distances it was Hungary, Switzerland and Japan who qualified directly for Sunday morning's semi-finals. New Zealand and Latvia will play a tiebreaker tomorrow to determine who joins them in the playoff rounds.
The Women’s Fours played the second round of the morning. China had won all of their previous games, so their opponents Japan had plenty of crowd support. It was close throughout, 5 all after the sixth end and 7 all at the end of the ninth. Japan had the advantage of the hammer as they went into the tenth. There were two stones of each colour in the house as China delivered their final stone. Their hit and roll was slightly heavy but took shot stone. The Japanese skip delivered beautiful draw weight on her last delivery to take shot and win the game 8-7 to much cheering in the gallery.
The New Zealand Women played Korea, and the Koreans got off to a flying start with 5 points in the second end. A 3 in the sixth end got the Kiwis back in the running. New Zealand trailed by one at 6-7 going into the eighth, but stole one to came back to 7 all after Korea’s last stone failed to find shot. Korea got a double in the ninth, and New Zealand fought back to do the same in the tenth to force an extra end.
Korea were sitting two as NZ skip Brydie Donald delivered her last stone, but it was narrow and Korea won the game 11-9. The Korean team members commented, “The New Zealand Women’s Team is a good team and they are getting better and better - our team found them difficult to play. The Naseby ice rink is very good. I think this game and the competition in general is very good.” The New Zealand Juniors had the bye.
25 Aug 2011 – Switzerland have had strong wins in their last two games of the Mixed Doubles curling event at the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games.
They now sit at the top of the leaderboard with New Zealand after 5 wins from their eight round-robin matches. NZ have a game in hand.
The fifth round of the Men’s Fours was held yesterday afternoon (Wednesday). China played the New Zealand Seniors and won 9-5. Australia played Japan. It was 3-all at half time but Australia won the seventh and eighth ends giving them the game 6-4. The New Zealand Juniors played Korea and lost 3-9. The New Zealand Men had the bye.
The Mixed Doubles played their second round of the day on Wednesday evening. Switzerland showed Japan they meant business when they opened with 5 points in the first end and 3 in the second. With an 8 point lead they were able to control the rest of the match and took an 11-3 victory after the sixth end 11-3.
The USA played a strong game against Australia and won 9-2. USA player Andrew Ernst said, “There were a lot of rocks in play at the ends where Australia had the hammer but Jennifer (Westhagen) was able to throw stellar shots to either steal or force one. The turning point was when we ended up stealing 4 points because they delivered a risky shot that didn’t curl properly. For the rest of the game we had better angles and were able to be more conservative.”
Latvia played Finland. Finland was ahead at the end of the third 4-1 but Latvia won the next four ends winning 9-4 at the end of the seventh. Hungary took on New Zealand and it was a close game through to the sixth end with New Zealand leading 4-3. Hungary scored 4 points in the seventh which put them in front and helped their eventual 9-4 win. China had the bye.
After their evening game on Wednesday, the Mixed Doubles had an early start in the first round of Day 6 of the curling events. The skills of Switzerland’s Double World Champion Irene Schori showed in their game as they thrashed Latvia 11-1. The USA team opened the scoring against Japan with 1 point in the first end but Japan then took control and finished with a win of 10-2.
Australia played China in a tense game that saw them 4-all at the end of the sixth. China scored 2 in the seventh to take a handy lead but Australia replied with a 4 in the eighth and final end to record an 8-6 win. Hugh Millikin from the Australian team said, “It was a very tense game – as it always is between Australia and China - and there were moments of controversy where we had to involve the umpire. After a very close game, we scored 4 in the final end to win the game by 2. It was Kim Forge’s first win against China and she was very happy with that. We have our last game in the round robin against New Zealand which will be a very intense game but much more friendly.”
Finland played New Zealand. The Kiwis fell behind early, trailing 1-4 at the fourth end break, but came back strongly to lead 5-4 after seven ends. On New Zealand’s last stone of the eighth Bridget Becker delivered a hit and roll to knock one of Finland’s stones out of the way. As Finland went to deliver their hammer stone, New Zealand had shot with three in the house. Paavo Kuosmanen attempted a double takeout but wrecked on the guard, giving New Zealand the end and an 8-4 win. Hungary had the bye.
The Women’s Fours played in the second round of the day. China played New Zealand and ran NZ out of stones in the last end for a 6-3 win. The NZ Junior side took on Japan who took a big lead from the start, scoring 6 points in the first two ends and going on to beat the Juniors 12-3. Korea had the bye.
Lake Wanaka, 25 August 2011 – This week’s 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games is playing a major role in the development of New Zealand’s Winter Olympic athletes in preparation for both January’s Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
New Zealand Olympic Committee President, Mike Stanley, said the Games provided an opportunity for the New Zealand athletes to compete against the best in the world on their home turf and raised the competitive bar in winter snow sports.
“Events like Winter Games give our athletes the recognition they deserve. It’s also about the promotion of winter sports as a competitive sport and the more we have this type of event, the more competitive winter sports enter the New Zealand psyche. The amount of young people who are now competing in winter events is growing as a direct result of events like Winter Games and this is part of the strategy to raise the competitive bar in winter sports, particularly snow sports.”
Stanley went on to say with the addition of ski and snowboard slopestyle and the snowboard half pipe to the Olympic programme, the Winter Games NZ are even more important to Kiwi winter athletes.
“Winter Games NZ brings the world’s Olympic and World Champion athletes to New Zealand. This exposure is invaluable for our development squads as they prepare for the Youth Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck next year and on to Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018. Having these sports included is such an exciting opportunity for New Zealand with the athletes we have who are already established in those disciplines. It’s a unique first to be able to offer these sports in the Winter Games since the Olympic announcement and what better venue for them to take place in.
“We know a number of nations have used New Zealand as a training base for quite some time but to be able to offer a high standard competition every two years. The perception of the nations who come here has changed, New Zealand is no longer just a training venue but also a world-class competition venue. There’s a real opportunity to cement New Zealand as the preferred place for winter sports preparation and competition which has got to be of huge economic benefit to New Zealand and getting a winter of intense competition and training has to be good for our local athletes.”
Two of New Zealand's 2012 Winter Youth Olympic curlers are competing in the Winter Games curling competition. Eleanor Adviento and Kelsi Heath are playing for the NZ Junior Women's team against the best in the Asia-Pacific region.
100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games takes place from 12-28 August 2011 featuring 22 snow and ice sports over 38 events and involving 1,000 elite athletes from 50 nations. The 16-day long Games also include a full Downtown Sessions festival programme featuring films, live music and entertainment, and rail jam extravaganzas in Queenstown, Lake Wanaka, Dunedin and Methven. The on-snow competition will take place at Coronet Peak, Cardrona Alpine Resort, Snow Park NZ, Snow Farm and Mt Hutt with the ice sports taking place at Naseby and Dunedin.
24 Aug 2011 – It was an exciting fifth day at the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games in Naseby with some close finishes and plenty of action.
Two games went to an extra end, including a Mixed Doubles thriller between the highly-favoured Swiss and the hometown New Zealand pair.
The Kiwis eventually prevailed with a 7-5 victory.
Both New Zealand's Women's teams played in yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon's round, but neither were able to come close to upsetting their opponents.
Korea took on the New Zealand Juniors and came away with a 9-5 win, while Japan beat the New Zealand Women’s team 6-2. China had the bye.
The Men’s Fours played in the evening. In a nail-biting game between China and Korea, the scores were level at 6-6 after the regulation ten ends so an extra end was needed to find a winner. China drew shot on their last stone of the game to win 7-6.
Japan opened the scoring against the New Zealand Juniors. The Juniors scored 3 in the fourth and were catching up with 2 more in the eighth, but Japan scored 5 in the ninth to finish the at game 12-5.
Australia proved too strong for New Zealand, leading from the start and winning after nine ends 8-5. Australian player, Jay Merchant put their success down to capitalising on opportunities throughout the game. “Each team had opportunities and our team managed to capitalise on them. NZ curled very well but they had some tough breaks during the game and that helped us win the game. We needed that win to stay in contention,” he said.
The two New Zealand Women’s teams played each other in the first round of day five of the curling events. New Zealand Women were pushed all the way by the New Zealand Juniors. On the Women’s last delivery of the eighth, Brydie Donald used a hit and roll to knock the Juniors’ shot stone out and score a single. Chelsea Farley from the Juniors replied with a great draw shot on their last stone of the ninth to get within one point of their opponents, but it was the Women’s team who finished the game ahead 8-7.
China once again took control in their game against Korea winning after eight ends by an easy 9-3 margin. Japan had the bye.
The Mixed Doubles were held in the second round of the day. Switzerland played New Zealand in a gripping match that was tied 4-4 after the sixth end. The Kiwis took one with hammer in the seventh and the Swiss did likewise in the eighth, so with the scores locked at 5-5 an extra end was required.
At the end of the ninth and with last stone advantage, New Zealand player Sean Becker threw a guard to protect shot stone. Switzerland attempted an angled raise takeout but failed to move the New Zealand stone. This gave New Zealand a 7-5 win. Sean said, “it was a fantastic game played by two really good teams. In the eighth end we had a couple of half-shots and it was hard to get anything going – the same thing happened in the extra end. The positioned stone ended up remaining in place to be shot. The angles weren’t happening and sometimes that’s the way it goes.”
Japan got off to a great start against Latvia but Latvia caught up and it was 4 all after four ends. An angled raise gave Latvia a 4 point advantage at the end of the sixth 8-6. Japan came back in the seventh but Latvia scored again on the eighth and won the game 9-7.
Finland played Hungary in a game that featured some high scores with Finland scoring a 4 in the third and Hungary a 5 in the fourth. Hungary won after the sixth end 10-4. Gyorgy Nagy from Hungary said “We enjoyed it (the game) very much – it was a good game. We felt we have been a bit up and down and know that if we want to be here on Saturday we have to win our games and that was our target for today. We have two tough games against New Zealand and China to come.”
China played USA and came away with a 9-4 win. Australia had the bye.
23 August 2011 – The New Zealand Men’s Fours had to fight hard to the last end against the New Zealand Men’s Juniors yesterday afternoon to maintain their winning streak at the 100% Pure NZ Winter Games 2011.
A great crowd enjoyed the action at the Maniototo International Curling rink. The Under-21 side played incredibly well, leading the Men’s team all the way through to the eighth end when the scores were locked at 7-7.
Sam Miller delivered the last stone of the ninth drawing round a guard to get shot stone and bringing the Juniors ahead 8-7. This made for a thrilling tenth and final end. On the Juniors last shot of the tenth they tried to raise their stone to shot but it travelled too far, and the New Zealand Men scored 3 to take the game 10-8.
Scott Becker from the NZ Men's team said after the match, "It's hard to get into a game when our team was only making 3 shots an end, one at best from every player." They will be relieved to have got away with a win.
China had a solid start against Japan, scoring 5 over the first two ends and they continued to dominate the game. They went on to win 11-4 after seven ends.
The NZ Seniors played Korea and it was tight all the way until the seventh end when Korea scored 2 to pull out to a 7-3 lead. The New Zealanders came back in the last two ends but couldn’t catch up, going down 5-7.
The Mixed Doubles played the evening session yesterday. Finland thrashed the USA 11-1, China beat Japan 8-6 and Hungary beat Latvia 8-2. Switzerland were ahead of Australia for most of the game and despite Australia scoring 3 points in the seventh, Switzerland won the game at the end of the eighth 8-5.
The Women’s Fours opened play on the third day of the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games curling events. Japan played Korea in a tight match of low-scoring ends. There was only ever 2 points between them. Japan finished ahead of Korea 6-4.
The New Zealand Juniors faced a tough challenge when they played the unbeaten China Team. China started strongly with 3 in the first end and the New Zealand Juniors answered with 3 points in the second. The Juniors trailed behind China from the third end, but in the seventh Skip Chelsea Farley had the chance to get shot stone with her last delivery to bring the teams within 4 points. Unfortunately got the Kiwis, a heavy stone rolled to the back of the house and China took the 2 points and a win of 11-4.
Kelsi Heath from the New Zealand Juniors was pleased with their game. “We played really well in the first half and were thrilled to score 3 points against them. In the end, they were too strong an opponent.”
The Mixed Doubles were next up on the second round of the day. China led Switzerland from the start, and despite the Swiss scoring in the last three ends they could not catch up, and the Chinese won 6-5.
Hungary and USA fought out a tough match, with a 6-all scoreline after seven ends. USA had the advantage of hammer (last stone) on the eighth and final end. Hungary played a nice wick-in but only managed to get second shot. USA chose to guard their shot stone leaving Hungary with a difficult tap-back which came up short and wrecked on the guard giving the US a 7-6 win, their first of the tournament.
Jennifer Westhagen from the USA team said, “I think that we have learned from past games and we continued doing the things that we thought worked. We practised a lot yesterday and that helped with our shot-making”.
The New Zealand - Latvia game was always going to be a good one to watch as both teams had won two of their three previous games. The New Zealanders had a great third end to score a 4. This put them in the box seat for the rest of the game and helped their 8-5 win. Japan lead all the way against Australia to eventually win 8-3.
22 August 2011 – China’s Women’s Fours are looking like a formidable team after winning their third straight game at the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games curling competition.
The Men’s Fours played the 3pm round yesterday. Once again two New Zealand teams faced each other in the competition with the New Zealand Men’s Team playing the New Zealand Men’s Seniors. The Seniors were leading 4-3 after six ends, but the New Zealand Men scored face-saving triples in the seventh and ninth ends and won the match 9-5.
China opened the game against Australia with 2 in the first end and then won each alternate end. With 4 points scored in the third and fifth, China led 10-3 going into the sixth and their opponents conceded after managing just a single in the seventh. Japan played Korea and lost 4-7.
The Women’s Fours played the last round of the day and both New Zealand teams lost to their opponents. On Sheet 3 Japan beat the New Zealand Juniors 8-4. On Sheet 2 it was all over after the sixth end with China thrashing the New Zealand Women 9-1.
The team’s Skip Wang Bingyu put their success down to changes within the team and making use of practise time. “We have a new skip so we are like a new team. We actually we spend a long time on the ice practising so the weight (of the stone) can show. That way we can choose the game we play,” she said.
The Mixed Doubles again started the competition on Day 3.
The game between Finland and Switzerland was one of the closest so far, tied at 5-5 after the fourth end and 7-7 after the seventh. In the last end Finland’s final ‘hit and roll’ attempt was unsuccessful and Switzerland took the victoryy 8-7.
Latvia had a strong start against Australia gaining 5 points in the first end after two of the Australian stones ‘picked‘ or hit debris on the ice. Australia won the next two ends but were behind Latvia for the whole game and lost 10-6. Player Ansis Regza said, “At the first end my teammate made some great shots and the opponent’s stone hit some dirt and picked. We then played carefully to maintain our lead.”
The game between Hungary and Japan was another nail-biter with Japan winning 9-8.
New Zealand started extremely well against China and was ahead 8-1 after the fourth end. China replied with 3 in the fifth. With one stone to play in the sixth end, NZ had shot stone on the button with two guards set up. Bridget Becker’s last delivery sat right beside shot stone giving them a 2-point advantage and giving them a further advantage 10-4. China closed in on the seventh end with a 4 to bring them within 2 points 8-10. It was a thrilling last end with New Zealand winning 11-8.
As mentioned, China’s Women’s Fours once again showed that they are a team to watch out for in the competition, playing Japan and winning 8-2.
Korea played New Zealand and led from the start. Brydie Donald’s final delivery in the sixth ‘picked’ at a crucial moment on some debris and veered off course, further exacerbating their position and allowing Korea to score 5 and take the win 12-2.
The ice is groomed by professional ice makers before each game to ensure the surface is as clean as possible. Ice maker Doug Wright says, “A pick can be caused by anything – an eyelash, lint, hair from brooms, or dirt from the shoe grippers. It is impossible to keep the ice perfectly clean at all times due to the constant activity of the players”.
21 August 2011 – The Men’s Fours played their first round last night and today the Mixed Doubles opened the play once again for the curling events at the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games. The Women’s Fours and Men’s Fours followed.
The Men’s Fours started in the last round yesterday with three matches played to a large group of supporters. Korea’s game against Australia was close throughout but Australia, needing 3 on the last to level the scores were restricted to a single, so Korea finished with an 8-6 win.
New Zealand played Japan. The Japanese opened the scoring with a single and it was singles all the way through to the sixth end at 3-3. The Kiwis took a double in the seventh and stole the eighth to take a handy lead. In the ninth end New Zealand had the shot stone and another in the house. Japan’s hammer stone forced a measure for second shot, and the umpire ruled in New Zealand’s favour. This gave an 8-3 lead to New Zealand, at which point the teams shook hands.
New Zealand player Iain Craig, in his first match for his country, said, “We didn’t start very well but it was reasonably tight by the fifth end break. We played much better in the second half and put them under a bit of pressure. It is the first time the team has played together. It was good to get a win but we will need to play better from now on.”
The New Zealand Juniors (under-21) played the New Zealand Seniors (50+). It was an exciting game from the start and it wasn’t until the fourth end that there were any points on the board. The Seniors were ahead by 1 at the end of the ninth, but two fantastic shots saw the Juniors came back to draw 5 all at the end of the tenth. An extra end was played which the Seniors took with hammer, winning 6-5.
The Mixed Doubles once again started the first round on day two of the curling events. Hungary scored on the first two ends but Australia came back with some high scores – a 4 in the third end and a 5 in the sixth. The game was over after the 7th end with Australia achieving their second strong win in the tournament 12-5.
New Zealand led after two ends but Japan came back and scored 5 points over the next two to lead 5-2. New Zealand had shot stone in the fifth end and Bridget Becker promoted her front-of-house stone to score a double, putting them back in contention 4-5. Japan once again answered with a fantastic end scoring 5 and putting them ahead 10-4. A New Zealand single in the seventh end wasn't enough, and the game finished there at 10-5 to Japan.
Female player Tomoko Tomabechi said, “The ice condition is wonderful, we enjoyed playing – it felt really great!”
China started strongly with 3 points against Finland and kept the pressure on all the way through. They dominated the last three ends scoring 7 points and coming away with a 12-3 win. USA and Switzerland battled it out on the Francis Rink winning alternate ends. They were still close with Switzerland just in front by 8-6 after the seventh end, and they held the USA out in the last.
The Women’s Fours followed in round three of the day’s curling events. China played Korea and it was a close game all the way to the eighth end. In the eighth end both teams drew around a guard resulting in four stones camped around the button. China held shot stone and Korea had two close by. The Chinese placed a guard to prevent an angled hit leaving Korea with a difficult raised takeout that didn’t work out as planned, giving China a steal of 2 and a 6-3 lead. Korea’s tactics paid off in the ninth end as they took 3, bringing the teams level going into the tenth. China had one stone sitting on the edge of the house when Korea delivered their last stone which didn’t curl enough to hide behind their guard, leaving China with an open hit to win the game. China won 7-6 in one of the closest games of the tournament so far.
The New Zealand Women led all the way against the New Zealand Juniors, keeping them scoreless until the fourth end, and then denying them again until the eighth. Chelsea Farley delivered the last stone attempting a ‘hit and stay’. Although hitting the Women’s stone out of play, the Juniors’ stone rolled out leaving them with just the single, not the 2 points they were after. The Women’s Team scored another 2 in the ninth to lead 8-4 going into the last, where they clinically ran their opponents out of stones.
20 August 2011 – The Mixed Doubles teams opened the play for the curling events at the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games 2011.
A top-quality international field lined up, including World Championship medalists Irene Schori (Switzerland, gold 2008 and 2009) and New Zealand's Sean and Bridget Becker (silver, 2010).
The Women’s Fours followed and there were some high scores and close games throughout the day.
It was a close game between China and Latvia until the fifth end when Latvia scored another 3 points and didn’t look back, beating China 10-5. Hungary was too strong for Switzerland, ahead 10-3 after seven ends when the teams shook hands. Player Gyorgy Nagy said “The ice was very fast and we like to play on fast ice. It was also very consistent. I think we played well. Ildiko played a fantastic shot on the fourth end.”
It was a thrilling game between USA and New Zealand. USA were up 5-1 after the fourth end and then New Zealand came back to trail 5-6 after seven. It was an exciting eighth end with Bridget Becker throwing the last stone. Her raised takeout had too much weight and the stone finished in the house alongside USA's stone. The umpire's measure called it in New Zealand’s favour, forcing an extra end to name a winner.
New Zealand placed their stone on the button and the USA team drew up a guard behind it. After drawing a guard behind the USA stone the New Zealand team won 7-6.
Finland and Australia played a close game and despite Finland scoring 5 in the third end, Australia was leading after the seventh end 11-8. In the final eighth end Finland could only manage to get a single so went down 9-11. Japan had a bye.
Peter Becker said the ice was “fast with a small swing. Naseby has had a lot of cold weather lately and had a hard frost last night. This has made the temperature inside the rink very cold” he said.
The Opening Ceremony was after the opening Mixed Doubles round, and the Women’s Fours then took to the ice for the first time.
Japan led the hosts from the start with a 3 in the first end, a 1 in the second and a 5 in the fourth. New Zealand failed to come back and lost 3-11 to Japan after seven ends. The Skip for the Japanese Team is Satsuki Fujisawa. “It’s the team’s first time in New Zealand and the ice condition is very good. We had a good game” she said.
The New Zealand Juniors played a good game against Korea. The game looked like it was all going Korea’s way until the eighth end. The New Zealand Juniors got 1 point in the next two ends but couldn’t carry on their winning streak into the tenth, Korea winning 7-5. China had a bye.
Lake Wanaka, 13 Dec 2010 – Initial research indicates next year's 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games will have a significant global reach with broadcasters throughout the world already confirming their interest in airing footage from the ground-breaking snow sports event.
To date, multiple broadcasters from 14 key regions have committed to either showing daily highlights or the event feature programme that gives an overview of the 14 days of elite snow and ice sports competition.
The broadcasters include Pan European and Pan Asia Pacific organisations with audiences in the hundreds of millions as well as key long haul tourism markets such as Germany, UK, USA and closer to home, Australia. Work is still progressing in China and Japan as key countries where the Games would like to have a strong profile.
"We're delighted to see this level support while we're still eight months out from the Games," said Winter Games NZ CEO, Arthur Klap. "The inaugural Games last year really made an impact on international snow sports and we are now delivering a proven product that the world's media see as beneficial to their programming schedule. The profile the event will provide New Zealand is significant. We hope to build on last year's results when the media coverage generated was estimated to be worth between NZ$20 million and NZ$70 million."
The audience reached in 2009 was 765 million, a target Winter Games NZ is aiming to at least equal in 2011 and also improve on in terms of where the television product is shown with more prime time slots.
100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games 2011 will feature up to 1,000 international athletes competing in 17 sports and 37 events from 13-28 August. As at the inaugural event in 2009, Winter Games NZ will continue to be the only elite snow sports event to feature adaptive and able-bodied athletes competing together.
All the on-snow action will take place on the ski fields of Queenstown and Wanaka, while ice-skating and ice hockey will be in Dunedin with curling in Naseby. New to the programme is the inclusion of Mt Hutt in Canterbury that will host the Super G and Adaptive Super G.