Team Kim tops table in quest for Beijing Olympic berth
The Korean women's curling team — the eponymous Team Kim of PyeongChang Olympics fame — beat Italy 7-1 on Monday and to take a joint first place in the women's World Curling Federation Olympic qualification standings with four wins and one loss.
On Monday in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, Korea took two points in the first end against Italy and widened the lead with two more points in the third end. Korea added more points in the fifth, sixth and seventh end and Italy conceded the match.
“The girls seem to have figured out the ice a little better and we’re starting to understand what weight to throw in certain situations,” said coach Peter Gallant, according to the World Curling Federation. “We got off to a good start there and pretty well had it under control. So far, so good. We’ve put ourselves in a good position and that’s all we want.”
The match against Italy was Korea’s fifth. Korea beat Latvia 10-4 on Saturday morning, but dropped their evening match against Turkey 12-7. Korea beat Germany 10-8 on Sunday and beat Scotland 8-4 on Monday.
Nine countries — Korea, Latvia, Japan, Estonia, Scotland, Turkey, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic — are vying for three Olympic women’s curling berths at the event. The top team in each group will automatically earn one Olympic berth without having to compete in the playoffs.
The second-to-fourth-placed teams will have to compete for the two remaining berths. The first berth will be given to the winner in a match between the second and third team and the team that loses the match will have to compete against the fourth-placed team to earn the final berth.
Meanwhile, the Korean mixed doubles team lost their shot at an Olympic berth after losing 6-5 to Australia on Thursday. As of press time, the Korean men’s team have lost their first three matches.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]