BEIJING – Both of Canada’s losses on Tuesday went down to the wire at the 2021 World Wheelchair Curling Championships.
In a rematch of last year’s final, the Russian Curling Federation scored three times in the eighth end to defeat the Canadians 9-6 in the night cap. The defending champion Russians built a 6-1 lead after five ends.
Canada bounced back immediately in the sixth end, when last shooter Jon Thurston’s raise take-out with his final stone gave his team a score of four points. Then a single-point steal in the seventh end levelled the score at 6-6.
In the eighth end, Thurston faced three RCF counters when he played his final stone. His attempted raise was unable to get into scoring position giving RCF the win without having to throw their final stone.
“Team Canada is a very good team and the teams wanted to win,’’ said RCF skip, Konstantin Kurokhtin. ‘’We were highly motivated. In the middle of the game, we had a momentum going, but couldn’t hold it till the end. So the end of the game became stressful and everything was decided by the last stones of both fourth players.”
Earlier Tuesday, Canada lost another heartbreaker 7-6 to Norway. Again, the Canadians needed to mount a comeback overcoming a 6-4 deficit in the seventh to tie the score before the Norwegians squeezed out the win.
In the standings, China is alone in top spot with a 6-1 record followed by RCF at 5-1. Scotland, Sweden and the U.S. are 5-3, Norway is sixth at 3-3 and Canada is tied for seventh with Latvia at 3-4. The top six teams advance to the playoff round.
Canada, with four round robin games remaining, faces South Korea and Slovakia, tied for ninth at 2-5, on Wednesday.
For more information about the 2021 World Wheelchair Curling Championship, including scores, schedules and team lineups, go to: worldcurling.org/events/wwhcc2021/
With files from the World Curling Federation