8 May 2019

Jones displays magic on Curling World Cup debut

© WCF / Celine Stucki

There were wins elsewhere for Korea, Switzerland and China.

Team Jennifer Jones put on a vintage performance to defeat Omaha winners Team Satsuki Fujisawa 10-1 in the Curling World Cup Grand Final's opening session.

The Canadians looked in control throughout, with second Shannon Birchard and veteran lead Jill Officer providing a solid front end before Kaitlyn Lawes and Jones herself combined clinically to ease to victory over the Japanese rink.

Double-Olympic champion and the team's vice-skip, Kaitlyn Lawes, was keen to stress they will take each game as it comes.

"We'll take it," said Lawes. "It was fun with the crowd being very energetic and it was great to see lots of kids out there - it made for a great environment.

"We weren't really sure what to expect here, they are a very talented team and we have lost to them a couple of times this year. We knew it would be tough and wanted to take it one shot at a time and luckily we got to take advantage of lots at times.

"We've been to Beijing before in 2013. We've had a great time touring round China with the warm weather.

"The timing rules was a bit of adjustment, so we have to be quick or it will run out which adds a little pressure."

©WCF / Celine Stucki

In front of a packed home crowd, Team Yilun Jiang showcased their full potential as they dispatched Team Nina Roth of United States 9-2 in their round-robin opener.

A big score of four points before the fourth-end break proved crucial as China, who were cheered on throughout by local school children, won their first round-robin encounter.

An enthralling battle between Russia’s Team Anna Sidorova and Swiss debutants Team Silvana Tirinzoni went right to the wire.

After stealing one in the seventh end, Switzerland were up 7-6 with Russia in possession of the hammer in the final end.

The world champions did a valiant job in defending their lead in the eighth, stealing one point to record their first victory in a Curling World Cup event.

"We made a few mistakes at the start of the game which we shouldn't have made and they had the lead," Tirinzoni admitted. "It was a hard-fought game and victory so I'm just happy to get the win.

"Usually you play the same tournaments every season so this is new and very special. We felt really fortunate to get the invitation to come here to the Grand Final.

"We were really looking forward to coming here but after this we are looking forward to a break and summer time with family and friends."

Korea opened up their campaign with success in a Jonkoping final repeat against Olympic champions Team Anna Hasselborg.

The leg three winners were outstanding from the very first stone, putting pressure on the Swedes which led to Team Minji Kim taking three in the third end.

Sweden ensured they took it to the final end but with the last stone, skip Minji delivered a perfectly weighted stone to register the win.

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