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S. Korean women’s curling team takes steps towards semifinals

S. Korean women’s curling team takes steps towards semifinals

Posted February. 16, 2022 07:42,   

Updated February. 16, 2022 07:42


The South Korean women’s curling team, consisting of Kim Sun-young, Kim Young-mi, Kim Kyung-ae, Kim Eun-jung, and Kim Cho-hee, beat Japan 10-5 at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing on Monday, keeping the hopes alive. With three games left until the end of the round robin tournament, South Korea needs to win consecutive victories to advance to the next round.

As of Monday, when 10 teams played six games, South Korea was tied for fifth place with Canada and the U.K. with three wins and three losses. Switzerland (5-1) is able to advance to the semifinals with just one more win, and the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has been virtually eliminated with six consecutive losses. The remaining eight teams are competing fiercely to grab the three remaining spots. South Korea needs to win every remaining game since two-way ties in the final standings will be decided according to which team won during their meeting in league play.

To this end, it is important for the South Korean women’s curling team to quickly adapt to the ice. South Korea’s three defeats all resulted from failure to adapt to the ice. In a game against China last Thursday, South Korea lost to the relatively weak team due to a slight change of the ice quality caused by high humidity at the stadium after heavy snowfall in Beijing. South Korea also lost to the U.S. on Feb. 14, when the icemaker said there was some change to the ice resulting in much curl on the ice. In fact, the women’s curling team had a two-year hiatus due to the power tripping of the former executives of the Korea Curling Federation and coaches.

After adapting to the ice in Beijing, South Korea boasted their great performance they had displayed four years ago with precise shots. South Korean skip Kim Eun-jung had a shot accuracy of 90 percent and take out success rate of 100 percent against Japan on Monday.

South Korea has a tight schedule ahead. After taking a day off on Tuesday, South Korea will face Switzerland in the morning and Denmark in the afternoon on Wednesday. On Thursday, South Korea will play the final league match against Sweden, which defeated South Korea four years ago in Pyeongchang. Sweden is ranked No. 1 in the world and Switzerland stands at No.2. South Korea must overcome these hurdles in order to win back-to-back Olympic medals for the first time in South Korea’s curling history.

Bae-Jung Kim wanted@donga.com