Team Kim to take on Japanese rivals this evening
The Korean women's curling team — the eponymous Team Kim of PyeongChang Olympics fame — is facing a big showdown against runner-up Japan at 9 a.m. in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, or 5 p.m. in Korea.
Korea beat Estonia 10-5 on Tuesday to take a solo lead on the women's World Curling Federation Olympic qualification standings with five wins and one loss. Runner-up Japan had only played five matches and had four wins and one loss. Wednesday's match between Korea and Japan will determine whether Korea will be able to strengthen their lead or whether Japan will take the top seat.
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.
The match against Estonia was Korea's sixth. Korea beat Latvia 10-4 on Saturday morning, but dropped their evening match against Turkey 12-7. Korea beat Germany 10-8 on Sunday, beat Scotland 8-4 and Italy 7-1 on Monday. Korea then beat Estonia 10-5 on Tuesday.
After the Japan match, Korea will have only one preliminary match remaining, against the Czech Republic on Thursday.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]