China hold nerve to edge past Russia in last-stone drama
'Nervous' Yilun says they will grow from Jonkoping experience.
China’s Team Jiang Yilun held on to beat Russia’s Team Anna Sidorova after a dramatic finish to the opening day of Curling World Cup action in Jonkoping.
The chief umpire was required to measure the two stones by the button, with the point being awarded to China by a fraction of a millimetre, which ensured an 8-6 success over the former European champions, avoiding a shoot-out.
"We were very nervous at the end as they measured the stones many times," Yilun said.
"We had to adjust ourselves against a really good Russian team and we came through. The Russian team had the hammer at the last end, which is not a good situation for us but we kept a good attitude until the very end.
"We can use this experience going forward and it will give us confidence."
There was also success for Korea, Sweden and United States as the women’s draw closed the opening day of leg three.
Team Minji Kim were made to fight by Japan’s Tori Koana, but the Koreans eventually got the better of their Asian counterparts.
The runners-up from Omaha arrived in Sweden aiming to put their final misery from leg two behind them and were impressive in a defiant performance, with an early steal key in their victory.
“I felt excited and nervous throughout the game,” said the 19-year-old skip.
“My first stone [in the eighth end] was very short, so I was thinking a little bit more and I believe in my sweepers. Today we had good team work and very good sweeping.
“After Suzhou and Omaha and now Jonkoping I want to go the Grand Final in Beijing. In the Omaha final, my last stone was a mistake, but today my final stone was not a mistake!”
Elsewhere in Group B, United States’ Team Cory Christensen caught the eye with their victory over Scotland’s Sophie Jackson.
The two rinks have had many encounters over the years in juniors, but the Americans kept the Scots down to just single points throughout to finish the game 6-2 in Christensen's favour.
Team Anna Hasselborg capped off a perfect day for the hosts after they cruised to a 8-2 victory over Canada’s Team Darcy Robertson.
After a cagey opening couple of ends, where the Swedes were made to fight, Team Hasselborg took control after the fourth-end break with three points claimed in the fifth end.
With wins for Sweden in the mixed doubles and men’s earlier in the day, the Olympic champions’ triumph confirmed a clean sweep on day one.