There are no longer any undefeated teams after only five draws of the Capital One World Women’s Curling Championship in Esbjerg, Denmark.
Sunday evening, previously unbeaten Germany and Norway tasted defeat for the first time, as seven countries are now tied for top spot with 2-1 marks.
Defending champion Germany, skipped by Andrea Schöpp, was whacked by 2009 world champion Bingyu Wang of China, 8-2.
After giving up a steal in the first end, Wang’s Harbin crew took charge, counting two in the second, then proceeding to steal singles in the third and fourth ends, followed by another theft of two in the fifth for a commanding 6-1 lead at the break. Another steal in the eighth end cemented the victory.
Meanwhile, Norway, skipped by 2004 world junior champion Linn Githmark, was upended by Czech Republic, making its world women’s debut under skip Anna Kubeskova, 7-5 in an extra end.
In other games, Canada dropped its second straight, this time to Denmark’s Lene Nielsen, 8-5, while Sweden’s two-time Olympic gold medallist and world champion Anette Norberg prevailed over Scotland’s Anna Sloan, counting two in the ninth end, then stealing one in the 10th to ensure the 5-3 win.
The results left China, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Russia (Liudmila Privivkova), Sweden and Switzerland (Mirjam Ott) all at 2-1. Canada, Denmark, Scotland and United States (Patti Lank) are next at 1-2, with Korea (Mi-Sung Shin) still winless at 0-3.
The Canada-Denmark encounter was an ugly affair for the Amber Holland team from Kronau, Saskatchewan, as the recent Scotties Tournament of Hearts winner gave up steals of two in both the sixth and seventh ends to fall behind 6-3.
It was 7-5 for Denmark in the 10th, but Canada coughed up another single steal in losing to the previously winless Danes.
“We were really confident in the tenth, but I missed a couple of draws in the middle ends. I just threw my draws light,” said Holland. “This is probably not the start I wanted. I’d like to be more in the win column than in the loss, but it’s a long week and lots can happen.”
Said Danish skip Nielsen, “It’s amazing when you’ve never played Canada before. We just went out there and gave it all we’ve got. It’s amazing to have so much support, even when we’d lost the first two games.”
The round robin continues Monday through Thursday, with three draws daily. After any required tiebreakers on Friday, the Page Playoffs (1 vs 2, 3 vs 4) take place, followed by a Saturday semi-final, then the bronze and gold medal games on Sunday, March 27.