Japan curlers tied for fourth place

Compiled From Kyodo, AP

Japan came from behind to beat Russia 12-9 in 11 ends but later lost to Germany 7-6 in the women’s curling tournament at the Vancouver Olympics on Sunday.

Japan now has a 3-3 win-loss record and is tied for fourth place with Switzerland in the 10-team round-robin stage, in which the top four will move on to the knockout phase.

Germany (3-4) had leads of 3-0, 5-3 and 7-4 before Japan’s 10th-end effort came up just short.

“We dug ourselves in a hole early. We allowed them to score three and were behind throughout the contest,” Japanese head coach Shinya Abe said.

“We’ll check the mistakes we had today. Tomorrow’s game against Switzerland will be the most crucial one for us in our bid for a place in the semifinals.”

Earlier Sunday, Japan turned a 6-0 deficit into a 9-8 lead through nine ends and skip Moe Meguro made a take-out to score three in the extra 11th end. Russia fell to 2-5.

Meanwhile, China handed Canada its first defeat of the tournament in an extra-end match, while the Canadian men racked up another win.

Skip Wang Bingyu sealed the 6-5 win for China in an extra 11th end, sending Cheryl Bernard’s favored Canadians to their first loss in six games.

Bernard forced the extra end with a takeout in the 10th, but her final stone of the game collided with a rock outside of the rings and didn’t come close to reaching its target.

The Canadian men, meanwhile, assured themselves the No. 1 seeding for the semifinals after a 6-4 win over Switzerland.

“In the playoffs — it feels good,” said Kevin Martin, the 43-year-old skip who delivered a brilliant final shot.

“We got to that seven wins, which is the trick,” he said. “Hopefully we can keep everything rolling without slipping up going into the playoffs.”

The Canadian men and women have lost just one of a combined 13 matches on the curling ice in Vancouver.

While disappointed, Bernard never expected to make it through undefeated. Next up is a date Monday with defending gold medalist Sweden, which easily beat the United States 9-3 in nine ends.

“We had some misses early that cost us that we just can’t have against these teams,” Bernard said.