3 February 2019

Redemption for Korea as they win Jonkoping title

Team Minji Kim reach Grand Final in Beijing after superb performance.

Korea’s Team Minji Kim found Curling World Cup redemption as they defeated home favourites Team Anna Hasselborg 6-4 at leg three in Jonkoping, Sweden.

Only eight weeks ago skip, Minji Kim, was victim of nerves as she succumbed to a loss in Omaha’s final but here in Jonkoping, the young skip delivered a composed performance beyond her years.

The Pacific-Asia champions were faultless throughout as Minji, alongside her teammates – Taei Yang, Hyerin Kim and Sujin Kim – made no mistake from a winning position this time, running the Swedish rink out of stones.

"I am very happy. In Omaha the loss was hard so since then we have worked hard. We will practice very hard for the Grand Final in Beijing.

"I am even more happy to win this after losing in the second leg. We tried to concentrate on our own game. This experience has made us be in good shape for the world juniors."

Minji, who travel to the World Junior Curling Championship in Liverpool, Canada in two weeks’ time, picked up a prize purse of $USD 27,500 and seal their place in Beijing Grand Final.

Composed Korea seal title

Korea were switched on from the start and pick up two points at the first end after Minji hit for two.

An opportunity for an immediate response was missed as Hasselborg’s tap back for two failed to curl as much as required, so Sweden settled for one point.

Minji Kim delivered a pinpoint angled raise takeout to take two Swedish rocks out of play to register another deuce for Korea.

Things improved for the Olympic champions after the fourth-end break, picking up one in the fifth and forcing Minji to throw away and surrender the steal.

But it was all in vain, as a draw for two in the seventh put Korea out of reach and despite scoring one in the seventh end, it was nothing more than a consolation.

© WCF / Céline Stucki

The one that got away

It was not to be for Sweden in front of a home crowd but skip Hasselborg says she is “proud” of her home country this week.

“They really, really played a great game,” said the 29-year-old. “They had the upper hand on the ice reading today and we had some big swings. Just a little on the wrong side of the ice today.

“This week has been great and I think Sweden really showed we can put on a good show and I hope we will bring some great events here in the future. I’m very proud of home country for putting this together.

“If we are heading to Beijing, I am very happy for that. It is the biggest money competition in the history of curling. To be where it all happens, it will be amazing.”

Team Hasselborg will pick up a runners-up cheque for $USD 17,500, bring their overall three-leg total to $USD 39,500.

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