Both New Zealand teams have made the ideal start to the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ 2015 Mixed Doubles Curling Tournament in Naseby, Central Otago today.
The young New Zealand 1 side of Eleanor Adviento and Brett Sargon capitalised on some early misses by Australia 1 to score four points in the first end, and didn’t look back as they went on to record an 11-2 win in their opening Group A encounter.
“We’re pretty happy with that,” said Sargon after the game. “The ice was a bit tricky to read in places but we made the important shots, couldn’t have asked for a better start.”
Also smiling were the Czech pair Jana Jelinkova and Ondrej Mihola after they stole the last two ends to beat the favoured Canada 1 team 7-4.
“It was fantastic,” Miholo commented. “We still can’t quite believe it. Canada are the best team here we thought, so we are very happy.”
Japan won the other opening round encounter with a final end steal to beat the USA 7-3.
The six Group B teams started their tournament in the second draw of the day. New Zealand 2 took an early lead against Finland to lead 4-0 by the fourth end break, but the Finns came back to level the scores with two ends to play. A score of three in the next made the game safe for the Kiwis, and they ran out winners 8-4.
Korea did not lead their match against the Chinese until the seventh end, but then stole the last to make take the match 9-6. Canada 2 led all the way in the other match of the round, and eventually ran Australia 2 out of stones in the last end to secure their 8-3 win.
“It’s always great to start a tournament with a ‘W’”, said Canada’s Wayne Tuck. “We watched the morning game on this sheet and it seemed a bit slower than yesterday’s practice, so we were well prepared for it. It also fudged up a bit after the fourth end, but we read it OK.”
Pool play in the Mixed Doubles tournament will continue through until Wednesday, and the medals will be decided on Thursday.
Audi quattro Winter Games NZ 2015 continues tomorrow (Tuesday) with the IPC Alpine Adaptive Giant Slalom Southern Hemisphere Cup races at Coronet Peak near Queenstown and qualification for the Winter Games NZ AFP Freeski Big Air at Cardrona Alpine Resort near Wanaka. It is also the second day of competition in the Games’ elite mixed doubles curling tournament at Maniototo International Curling Rink in Naseby, Central Otago. Full results are available on the event website www.wintergamesnz.kiwi. The two downtown Games Villages in Queenstown and Wanaka are open daily from 3pm with live music and DJs, medal ceremonies, the Adventure Film Festival presented by GoPro and aprÃ©s ski hospitality.
Group A, Round 1:
Japan 7, USA 3
Czech Republic 7, Canada “1” 4
New Zealand “1” 11, Australia “1” 2
Group B, Round 1:
New Zealand “2” 8, Finland 4
Canada “2” 8, Australia “2” 3
Korea 9, China 6