Canada, Great Britain, Japan, and South Korea all came into the final night of the women’s curling round robin fighting for two open spots in the tournament semifinals. There were a dozen different scenarios that would determine the last two spots based on how the final games played out, and it still came down to a tie.
Great Britain and Canada both finished Session 12 with victories, while Japan and South Korea finished the night with loses. South Korea finished with a record of 4-5 overall.
After all games were played, there was a tie between GBR, Japan, and Canada, all 5-4 overall, because each team had beaten each other during round-robin play. The tiebreaker was determined by draw shot challenge.
Before every round-robin game, each team shoots a draw shot to determine who gets last stone in the first end. The distance for the draw from each game is averaged and used in case of tiebreakers, like the one needed for these Olympics. Canada was the worst of the three teams in draw shots at these Games, taking them out of the semifinals.
Great Britain takes the No. 3 seed and Japan takes the No. 4.
Here’s how all four Session 12 games went on Thursday:
Canada 10, Denmark 4 (8 ends)
Canada got the win it needed Thursday to stay in contention for a semifinal spot, defeating Denmark with ease, 10-4.
The two teams were tied at 3-3 after four.
Team Canada was sitting two in the fifth, and skip Jennifer Jones tried for a tap takeout that would have netted her team four, but missed, instead forcing the Canadians to settle for two.
But it didn’t take long for Jones’ team to get those points back, and then some. Denmark’s Madeleine DuPont threw too hard on the hammer throw in the sixth, hitting a guard and allowing Canada to steal three.
The Canadians stole two more in the seventh to take a commanding 10-3 lead with three ends to play.
Denmark got a single point back in the eighth, but conceded the final two ends from there to give Canada the win it needed at the time.
Denmark finishes round-robin play with a 2-7 record, and will leave the Olympics in ninth place.
Switzerland 8, Japan 4 (9 ends)
Japan entered the final session of play with a 5-3 record in the No. 3 spot in the women’s curling standings.
But the only way for the Japanese team to still guarantee advancement to the semifinals would be to win their final game, and they would have to beat the No. 1 team in the tournament to do it.
After scoring two in the second, Japan went four-straight ends without a point. Switzerland scored one in the third, and stole one in the fourth and two in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead into the half.
Following a blanked sixth, Japan cut the lead with two in the seventh on a takeout throw by Satsuki Fujisawa that stayed in the house for two.
Switzerland answered in the ninth. Alina Paetz missed a double takeout, but removed one red Japanese stone on the second-to-last throw for the Swiss. Japan’s final stone took out Switzerland’s only rock lying in the 4-foot, setting up a difficult double takeout for Paetz, with two Japanese stones on opposite sides of the 8-foot circle.
Paetz then threw the shot of the game, sending a heavy rock to knock out one and roll across the house to take out the other, giving Switzerland three points and a 4-point lead heading into the final end.
Switzerland didn’t let Japan keep any stones around in the tenth, eventually forcing a concession of the final end.
Switzerland improves to 8-1 with the win and will be the No. 1 seed in the semifinals.
Sweden 8, South Korea 4
It took Sweden eight ends to take the lead over South Korea, but they got it and kept it on the way to an 8-4 win.
In the eighth, Swedish throwers missed three draws in a row, but got the tap-and-roll needed on the hammer to put two on the board and go up 5-4 with two ends to play.
Sweden stole another point in the ninth, setting up a difficult two-point hole for South Korea to have to climb out of with just one end to play.
In the tenth, Sweden put its final rock at the top of the eight foot, setting up a difficult triple takeout for Kim Eun-Jung. Kim’s shot wasn’t to be, as the rock took out just one Swedish stone and allowed Sweden to steal two.
Sweden, the defending Olympic gold medalists, finishes round-robin play with a record of 7-2 and will be the No. 2 team in the semifinals.
South Korea, the defending silver medalists, were eliminated with the loss.
Great Britain 9, ROC 4 (9 ends)
Great Britain scored two points in the first, but never got more than one again until the ninth when a 4-point end was the decider in a 9-4 victory over ROC.
In the ninth, Eve Muirhead knocked out ROC’s only lying stone on GBR’s second-to-last throw, giving her team four in the house. Alina Kovaleva put ROC’s final stone in the 4-foot, but set up a pretty easy takeout by Muirhead, which she converted to give Great Britain four points and a five-point lead.
ROC conceded the final end from there.
ROC also failed to score more than a single point in any of its scoring ends and finished round-robin play at 1-8 in tenth place.
Both women's curling semifinals will be played at 7:05 a.m. ET. No. 1 Sweden will take on No. 4 Japan, and No. 2 Sweden will face No. 3 Great Britain.