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HomeNewsJapan suffers first curling loss after faltering late against Germany

Japan suffers first curling loss after faltering late against Germany

Canada’s next opponent will likely be a little grumpy.

Japan, led by skip Ikue Kitazawa, blew a 5-1 lead after six ends en route to a stunning 7-5 loss to Germany Monday night at the world women’s curling championship in Prince George.

Kitazawa curled just 63%, the lowest of any of the eight participants in the game.

Germany scored two in the seventh and then stole one in the eighth, two more in the ninth and one in the 10th.

(Daniela Jentsch of Germany is about to come out of the hack. Photo supplied by Brendan Pawliw, staff)

Lead Analena Jentsch of the Germans made good on 91% of her draws and was 86% overall.

The loss puts the Japanese at 4-1, while Germany improved to 2-3.

“After the break, we got confused by the ice and we couldn’t tell where our rocks would go. Our ice reading was not good,” said Japan lead Hasumi Ishigooka.

Japan has a very daunting schedule Tuesday. An afternoon 2:00 game against (3-2) Canada, skipped by Kerri Einarson, is then followed up by an evening clash against (4-1) Anna Hasselborg of Sweden.

Ishigooka told having a short memory will be key.

“They will be tough games. We have two tough games tomorrow (Tuesday) and we have to call it even as soon as possible (after Germany) and change our mindset and try again.”

Curling has become a very popular sport in the Land of the Rising Sun.

There are over 10-thousand curlers in Japan, 25-hundred of which regularly compete.

To give you an idea of how well the Japanese have excelled, the Satsuki Fujisawa rink that won silver at the 2022 Beijing Olympics last month declined to come to the northern capital.

In its place is the Kitazawa rink out of the Karuizawa Curling Club, located in Nagano – the site of the 1998 Winter Olympics where the sport was first introduced in Japan.

The talented roster also consists of Seina Nakajima (third), Minori Suzuki (second), and Ishigooka.

The 25-year-old admits playing in the shadows of the Fujisawa rink pushes them to be at their best.

“Team Fujisawa is so good. We have to go for it more and more every time we play them because they are so high class,” said Ishigooka.

Japan’s best finish at the women’s world championship came in 2016 when Fujisawa claimed the silver medal, losing the final 9-6 to Switzerland’s Binia Feltscher.

In other action, the United States (3-2) bounced back in a big way thanks to a 12-4 victory over Norway (2-3).

The U.S. blew open a close game with three in the eighth and a steal of four in the ninth.

Both Canada and the United States are tied for 5th following the completion of Monday’s action.

American second Vicky Persinger was stellar making 93% of her shots.

Elsewhere, Silvana Tirinizoni and Switzerland improved to 5-0 after an 8-6 victory over Italy (1-4).

Sweden moves to 4-1 due to a forfeit win over Scotland.

The players on Scotland have returned home following a COVID-19 outbreak on the team.

Tuesday’s 9:00 in the morning draw consists of just two games at CN Centre:

Sweden vs. Italy
Denmark vs. Turkey

Korea (4-0) picks up an automatic win in the morning since its opponent on the schedule is Scotland.

The top six teams make the playoffs.

Qualification games go on Saturday at 1:00 in the afternoon with the semi-finals Saturday night at 7:00.

Medal games hit the ice Sunday at 11:00 a.m. (for bronze) and 4:00 p.m. (for gold).

The full standings can be found here.

The full schedule and results are right here.

With files from Hartley Miller

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