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Japan tops Russia in battle of Ford Worlds unbeatens

SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. — Not a lot of people saw this one coming. Japan stood alone at the top of the standings at Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, presented by Meridian Manufacturing, after afternoon play Sunday at the Credit Union iplex.

Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa moved to 3-0 with a surprisingly easy 6-1 win over Russia’s Anna Sidorova. The Russian team had opened with two wins before facing the Japanese team.

Japanese coach J.D. Lind is not among those surprised to see his team on top of the leaderboard. He knew his young team had potential to be in a lofty position.

“I knew if we played the way we could that we would have a chance to start off well,” Lind, a Calgarian, said. “We’re very happy for sure.

“We have been practising hard and were really prepared for this event. We had a lot of time to go through a lot of scenarios, so I think they are very comfortable.”

He said the comfort level extends to areas such as sweeping.

“This year with the sweeping and the fabrics and all that stuff — there is a lot going on — we were really prepared to come here and that really paid off.”

Lind, whose team is rounded out by vice-skip Chinami Yoshida, second Yumi Suzuki, lead Yurika Yoshida and alternate Mari Motohashi, says he is a fan of the ice made by Jamie Bourassa, the Chief Ice Technician here.

“I’ve known Jamie Bourassa since I was a kid and the ice is great. I’ve played on his ice lots of years. It was very good for me to give the girls a lot of information about his ice and it’s really paid off, too.”

Japan scored two on the second, two on the fifth end and stole singles on the six and seventh to salt it away. The teams shook hands after the ninth end.

Lind said beating the Russians wasn’t a statement.

“No, it’s still the first Sunday,” he said. “If we’re still here next Sunday, that will be the statement. Right now, we’re 3-0 and we still have a long way to go. We just have to maintain what we are doing throughout the week.”

In other games on the Sunday afternoon draw, Scotland (1-1) defeated South Korea (0-2) 8-6, Finland (1-2) downed Italy (0-3) 8-7 and Germany (2-0) topped Sweden (1-1) 9-6.

Scotland, represented by skip Eve Muirhead, third Anna Sloan, second Vicki Adams, lead Sarah Reid, alternate Rachel Hannen and coach David Hay, scored deuces the first three times it had the hammer to get out in front.

Scottish skip Eve Muirhead calls instructions to her sweepers on Sunday afternoon. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Scottish skip Eve Muirhead calls instructions to her sweepers on Sunday afternoon. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Finland jumped out to a 6-1 lead and Italy, despite a nice comeback, couldn’t make up the lost ground. The Finnish team is comprised of skip Oona Kauste, third Milja Hellsten, second Maija Salmiovirta, lead Marjo Hippi, alternate Jenni Rasanen and coach Tomi Rantamaki.

Germany and Sweden exchanged deuces from the third through the eighth ends. Germany stole two on the ninth end to go up three coming home. And that was the final score.

Germany is represented by skip Daniela Driendl, third Analena Jentsch, second Marika Trettin, lead Pia-Lisa Scholl, alternate Maike Beer and coach Thomas Lips.

Canada’s Chelsea Carey (2-0, Denmark’s Lene Nielsen (1-1), Switzerland’s Bina Feltscher (1-1) and the United States’ Erika Brown (0-2) had byes. Canada plays again Sunday night against the United States. Game time is 7 p.m. MDT. Canada plays two games Monday — at 9 a.m. MDT against Russia and at 7 p.m. against Sweden.

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For the complete results, standings, the schedule and much more, visit to

This story will be posted in French as soon as possible at

TSN (RDS2 in French), the exclusive television network for Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will provide complete coverage of the 2016 Ford Worlds.