Day 1 Roundup

Germany second Christopher Bartsch helped his team to two wins today Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

The World Men's Curling Championship 2014, presented by Ford of Canada, began this afternoon in Beijing’s Capital Gymnasium, marking the first time in history that the event has been held in the Pacific-Asia region.

Two sessions of round-robin play were held today with only Germany and Sweden managing two wins so far to top the standings, although some teams have only played one game.

Germany opened with an 11-5 win over hosts China in front of a big home crowd. They took a 3-2 lead in the third end when their fourth player Felix Schulze played a hit and roll to count two points.

In the eighth end, Schulze played another hit, this time to score three points for an 8-5 lead on the way to an 11-5 win.

Germany's second game was against Russia and in this game Schulze played a hit for two points in the third end to move into a 3-1 lead. He scored another two points in the ninth and then Germany stole two points in the tenth end for a 9-5 win.

After this game, Germany skip John Jahr said: “We wanted to start like this, we hoped we would. The minimum was one win out of two games. I think we handled the middle of the game better than the Russians. Now we are confident."

Sweden started their campaign against Scotland and opened with a score of three points in the first end. Sweden's skip Oskar Eriksson then tapped out a Scottish stone in the third end to score two points and take a 5-1 lead. Scotland conceded the game after eight ends with the score at 8-4.

The Swedes then went on to play USA and they won this when a multiple promote attempt by USA skip Pete Fenson did not come off, giving Sweden a steal of one point in the tenth end for an 8-6 win.

After the win against Scotland, Eriksson said: “It was important to get a good start. We had a good feeling in the team - we got a three in the first end and just kept rolling. Of course, it is a big three in the first game in the first end, then we started to get the feeling for the ice and played some good shots."

Before their loss to Sweden the USA had gone down to a 7-9 loss at the hands of the Czech Republic, thanks largely to giving up a score of three points in the fifth end when Czech skip Jiri Snitil played a draw to take a 4-3 lead.

After this game, Snitil said: "The first game is always important. You go out and try to learn the ice and learn how it works. There were a few breaks, some crucial misses from both sides. We were the more lucky team in this game."

Before their loss to Germany, Russia had beaten Switzerland by 8-7. In the fourth end of this game, Switzerland's fourth player Benoit Schwarz hit out a Russian stone, but rolled out his own to only score one point and take a 3-2 lead.

The tide turned and, in the seventh end, Russia's fourth player Alexey Stukalskiy played a hit to score three points and take a 6-4 lead on the way to what was his team's only win of the opening day.

Canada opened their campaign with a 6-3 win over Denmark in their only appearance of the day.

Canada had the first break-through in the third end of this game, scoring two points for 3-1 lead.

They followed that up with single-point steals in each of the next two ends to move onto a 5-1 lead.

Denmark could only score two single points in the second half of the game, and they conceded without completing the tenth end.

Afterwards, Canada skip Kevin Koe said: "Pretty good. We could be sharper but we're pretty happy. There were a few shots missed. We got a bit fortunate there, but we'll take it for sure."

Norway also made just one appearance on the opening day, against Japan. In the sixth end of this game, Norway's skip Thomas Ulsrud tapped out a Japanese stone an at the back of the house and kept his own stone lying. This gave him four points from the end and a 6-2 lead.

Japan's skip Yusuke Morozumi had a hit to score two points in the seventh end to reduce Norway's lead to 6-4. Japan could not make any further inroads and Norway eventually won by 9-5.

Afterwards, Norway skip Thomas Ulsrud said: "That was OK for a first game, but I'm also happy with the crowds - there were a lot of Chinese people watching and curling needs that. The ice was not too bad, but (Chief Ice Technician) Hans (Wuthrich) is doing a really good job - the arena is new, the ice is new and it's going to be better and better for every draw."


RESULTS
Session 1:
Switzerland 7, Russia 8; USA 7, Czech Republic 9; Germany 11, China 5; Scotland 4, Sweden 8.

Session 2: Denmark 3, Canada 6; Russia 5, Germany 9; Sweden 8, USA 6; Norway 9, Japan 5.

STANDINGS
After 2 sessions of play:

1. Germany 2-0
1. Sweden 2-0
3. Canada 1-0
3. Czech Republic 1-0
3. Norway 1-0
6. Russia 1-1
7. China 0-1
7. Denmark 0-1
7. Japan 0-1
7. Scotland 0-1
7. Switzerland 0-1
12. USA 0-2

World Curling TV (WCTV), the television arm of the World Curling Federation, will provide extensive live and video-on-demand coverage to broadcasters around the world from Beijing. WCF Broadcast Partners for the event include CCTV in China, Eurosport in Europe, Universal Sports Network in the USA, SporTV in Brazil, TSN in Canada (RDS in Quebec). http://wmcc2014.curlingevents.com/schedule

In addition, Curling fans around the world will be able to follow selected live coverage of the 2014 World Championship events via the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

Event Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WorldMensCurlingChampionship

Twitter: @worldcurling and @WCFmedia
Hashtags: #WMCC2014 and #curling

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