It was Kazakhstan's day. The women's team gained the
country's first-ever win at the Asia and Pacific curling
The team of Jane Kim, Nadira Yunussova, Olga Zaitseva and
skip Olga Ten caused a major upset in beating Japan 9-8 in a
dramatic game at the Naseby Indoor Curling Rink.
It is the first time Kazakhstan has entered the event and the
men's and women's teams had struggled in the earlier rounds.
The win for the women's team came in its sixth game and it
gave notice that Kazakhstan has the potential to become a
force in the international arena.
"It is unbelievable how happy I am," skip Olga Ten said.
"It's our first really good game and our first win.
"We played very well and everyone made their shots. When they
didn't make a good shot they were still confident and felt
"It's a very small step forwards towards our Olympic future.
It's just great for our heads to know that we can win games.
We have felt better about ourselves and it has helped our
Kazakhstan started well and scored singles on the first three
ends to lead 3-0. But three ends later Japan had snatched the
lead 4-3 and looked in command.
Kazakhstan scored a one and three on the next two ends to
lead 7-4 but Japan regained the initiative by scoring a four
on the penultimate end to lead 8-7.
Three members of the Kazakhstan team had competed
internationally in gymnastics for the Soviet Union and were
used to keeping cool under pressure. That ability was tested
on the final end because Kazakhstan needed two shots to win
The New Zealand women's team of Kelsi Heath, Marisa Jones,
Brydie Donald and skip Bridget Becker felt confident after
comfortably beating Kazakhstan 11-3 on Tuesday,But they were
up against Korea which had only lost one game and was second
on the points table behind unbeaten China.
Korea sped to a 4-2 lead at the halfway stage and had a
three-point cushion over New Zealand after seven of the 10
New Zealand then displayed its fighting qualities to score
singles on the next three ends to level the scores 6-all
after 10 ends.
But Korea scored a two on the extra end to win the game 8-6.
The strong Chinese team beat Australia 10-3 and remains
unbeaten after six rounds.
Korea has five wins, Japan three, Australia two and New
Zealand and Kazakhstan one each.
The New Zealand men's team played its best game of the
championships when it lost narrowly to China 6-5.
New Zealand made a flying start and led 3-0 after four ends
and 5-2 after six ends.
But the unbeaten Chinese fought back with a two on the
seventh end and a single on the ninth to level the scores
China gained the winning shot on the final end to put paid to
New Zealand's chances of reaching the semifinals.
China and Korea are both unbeaten with four wins, followed by
Japan with three wins, Australia two, Chinese Taipei and New
Zealand one. Kazakhstan has yet to win a game,.
The key men's games at the Naseby Indoor Curling Rink today
are between China and Korea and Australia and New Zealand.