Perret and Rios take control on day two
Swiss top mixed doubles Group A as Norway and United States share lead in Group B
Switzerland’s Jenny Perret and Martin Rios were pushed all the way by Swedish rookies Malin Wendel and Fabian Wingfors in a fascinating match on day two of the Curling World Cup in Omaha.
Perret and Rios, this year’s Olympic silver medallists, were 7-5 down heading into the final end of their second game in Group A of the day’s second session of mixed doubles.
However, they showed all their class and experience to earn four points in the final end and escape with a 9-7 win that puts them on top of Group A with eight points, ahead of Korea on six and Canada on four. Sweden are yet to earn a point in three matches.
“We came here and we expected at least six very hard games,” said Rios. “We played pretty solid in the first couple of ends then had a really bad one in the fourth. I had a big miss and they should have scored more than three.
“Of course we were worried [being 7-5 down before the last end] but we just tried to put together a good end. We know how how to fight back, we are a pretty experienced team. Time gives you a certain confidence in yourself and we managed it, although we’re aware it won’t always work.”
In the same group, Korean duo Hyeri Jang and Chiwon Choi inflicted a second defeat on Canada’s Kalynn Park and John Morris.
After scores of four were exchanged in the first two ends, Canada added three points in the next two to lead 7-4 at the halfway stage. Korea took charge from there though, winning all the remaining four ends for a 9-7 win.
In Group B, Norway and United States are joint top with six points each after three games.
In what was a nip-and-tuck game with China, Norway’s Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten needed a steal for one in the final end to settle a 7-5 win.
It was a smoother ride for home favourites Tabitha Peterson and Joe Polo. Down 3-0 to Russia after two ends, they took control thereafter by winning the next seven ends and recording an 8-3 triumph.
In the day’s opening session there were four mixed doubles matches, including a big result for China, who won a nail-biter with United States’ Peterson and Polo.
Leading 5-4 ahead of the final end, Peterson’s draw with the final stone was a little too heavy, allowing Dexin Ba to roll up and claimed the two they needed for a 6-5 win and their first point in Group A.
Dexin reflected afterwards: “Right now I feel great it was a big game. We had a big steal of one and a come back. This is my first time playing in the world cup and I am really enjoying it.”
Canada’s Morris and Park enjoyed a pretty comfortable 9-6 victory over Sweden’s young pairing Wendell and Wingfors.
A four in the second end set the tone and a further three in the penultimate end made sure.
“It’s awesome learning from John and seeing how he plays out there because we’ve both been playing mixed doubles for a long time,” said Park. “It’s neat to see the differences because obviously he’s won a lot.
“This is a really cool event, it’s like nothing else we’ve played in. John’s experience will be huge, with both of us having played in a worlds before and him at the Olympics. At that point in the event you manufacture wins, you don’t always win them outright so his experience with that will really come into play.”
On the nextdoor sheet, Norway's Skaslien and Nedregotten shared a high five after a score of three in the final end gave them a 9-6 victory over Russia's Anastasia Moskaleva and Alexander Eremin.
Level at 3-3 after five ends, Norway scored three in the sixth only for the Russians to do likewiese in the seventh. The Scandinavians made the most of the hammer in the last though to close out victory.
Perret and Rios were fairly comfortable in their 8-4 win over Korea. A run of six points in three ends in the middle of the contest proved critical.