China’s mixed doubles curling team of Fan SuYuan and Ling Zhi are newly formed and have no international experience together. That didn’t stop the duo, though, from getting an early upset on the first day of competition in the 2022 Olympic games.
China defeated Switzerland 7-6 in extra ends Wednesday.
SuYuan and Zhi were an automatic qualifier into the Olympics because they’re from the home country. Their early competition schedule didn’t provide them any easy contests as they took on the defending Olympic silver medalists from Switzerland.
Down 5-3 in the seventh, China elected to use their power play. On their hammer throw, SuYuan threw a perfect hit-and-stick shot to take out Switzerland’s lone rock in the house, allowing for two points and the lead.
Switzerland got one back in the eighth to tie the score again and force an extra end, but China again capitalized on having hammer in the ninth. SuYuan had a takeout of Switzerland’s only rock for one point and the win.
China tried for a takeout in the first, but didn’t put quite enough on the rock for what would have been two. Instead, after a measurement, they settled for one for an early lead.
The Chinese team stole a point in the second after Switzerland’s Jenny Perret’s hammer throw didn’t get past China’s guard rock. China again got a single point in the third to go up 3-0 on the defending Olympic silver medalists early.
China will be back on their home ice on Wednesday night at 8:05 p.m. EST against Australia. Switzerland will look to bounce-back from the early loss with a game against Italy on Thursday morning at 1:05 a.m. EST.
Czech Republic 7, Norway 6
Another early upset saw the Czech Republic take a 7-6 win over Norway, the team that finished second at the most recent World Championships.
Norway got a rare steal in the second end after a takeout attempt by Czech thrower Zuzana Paulova missed the crowded house, giving the Norwegian team an early 2-0 lead.
With the score tied 2-2, Norway opted to throw their final stone away in the fourth. The strategy worked, as a measurement showed their rock was inches closer to the button to give them a 1-point lead at the break.
The Czech Republic bounced back late, though, scoring three points in the eight to force an extra end.
Paulova and teammate Tomas Paul again stole a point in the ninth for the win.
The Czech Republic will be back at 8:05 p.m. EST Wednesday night against Sweden. Norway will play at 1:05 a.m. EST Thursday morning against the U.S.
Great Britain 9, Sweden 5
The defending world champions Great Britain started their Olympics off with a 9-5 win over Sweden Wednesday morning.
After allowing GB a point in the first, Sweden took the lead in the second. Almida De Val had a rock sitting on the edge of the house, and got a takeout of GB’s lone rock on the button to go up 2-1.
GB got the lead right back with a perfectly placed ricochet shot by Jennifer Dodds that landed three stones in the house. An official measurement placed Sweden’s stone just inches closer than Britain’s, preventing a huge 4-point lead.
Dodds and teammate Bruce Mouat led 4-2 after three ends.
Sweden got a point back in the fourth, and stole two more in the fifth after Dodd’s hammer throw hit the guard and was unable to get into the house.
DeVal and teammate Oskar Eriksson led 5-4 through five ends, but GB tied it again in the fifth.
It was the seventh end with Dodds and Mouat put the game away, stealing three points. They stole another in the eighth for the eventual 4-point win.
Great Britain will return to play at 8:05 p.m. EST Wednesday against Canada. Sweden will also play at 8:05 p.m. against the Czech Republic.