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Koreans move up the Worlds pecking order

Unsung Korea won its third game in four starts at the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship on Monday morning, drilling favoured Scotland 7-2 with a sharpshooting display of the first water.

Ji-Sun Kim reacts to a play during the 2012 Ford World Women's Curling Championship. (Photo: CCA/Michael Burns Photography)

Skip Ji-Sun Kim, playing by far her best match of the week, scored two in the fourth end after three blanks, then stole two more on a Scottish miscue in the fifth and, following a couple of one-point strikes from the enemy, close it out with a deuce and another theft of one in the ninth.

“It was very exciting for us and very much fun,” said Korean skip Kim, who mesmerized the Scots with a 90 per cent shooting percentage.

“Today I felt very good. We have been getting better. Maybe tomorrow will be even better.”
She said the Korean team “already is better than last year”.
Kim was 2-9 at Esbjerg. Koreans are playing in their fourth Worlds and previously logged 0-9 and 3-8 records.

“I think we are learning the game, throwing the rock better and we know the game better,” said Kim, who admitted that the team’s goal was “to make the playoffs”.

By contrast, Scottish skip Eve Muirhead was a mediocre 68 per cent on her last rocks.

“I think that was a poor performance, but give them their due, they played great,” said Muirhead. “We’re going to have to step it up big-time. (Continued Below…)

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“We’re just missing shots that we don’t usually miss — the unit’s falling apart a little and we need to build it up. We can’t get panicked, it’s down to ourselves at the end of the day. If we step it up, then we’ll be around, and if we don’t we’re not going to be, so it’s in our own hands.”

Elsewhere, Sweden’s Margaretha Sigfridsson, who skips and tosses lead rocks, administered a 10-4 waxing of Germany’s Melanie Robillard (2-2). Sweden and Korea are 3-1, behind idle Canada’s 3-0 record.

Denmark’s Lene Nielsen ran her record to 2-2 with a tight 9-8 win over Linda Klimova of the Czech Republic, who also is 2-2 while Italy’s Diana Gaspari got untracked after three losses and upended Russia’s Anna Sidorova 10-6, hammering a pair of three-enders on the board in the seventh and ninth ends.

Russia dropped to 1-and-3.

“Finally, we play every end as we like it,” said Gaspari (1-3), the Cortina d’Ampezzo veteran. “So we have to go on in this way, end-by-end.

“I’m quite happy with my game. I have been away three years and I was quite worried that I would be able to come back in the big competition but with this team I am really comfortable.”

Allowed Nielsen:

“It was difficult after our game against Scotland last night — we let that one get away (four in the ninth end).

“I think a couple more games and we’ll be back in form. But all the teams here are playing really, really good. Everyone is beating everyone, so we’ll see at the end of the week.

“Playing away from home for the first time, this doesn’t matter. The ice is great. The stones are great. So we are just enjoying it.” (Continued below…)

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQoKplgRxVM

Korean coach Min-Suk Choi allowed as how his team “is building every game”.

“This is our best game yet,” he said. “We are benefiting from the experience. The team is much more comfortable here.

“We have really focused on training, throwing and mental preparation, the year ‘round — three weeks of throwing at Calgary Curling Club. Every year we have trained two months at the Calgary Curling Club.

“We only have two rinks in Korea. This is a national team.”

He said the team will play the Korea championship next month, then play in cash bonspiels in Canada next fall in preparation for the Pacific championships in November.