GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA – The Japanese women’s curling team beat Denmark 8-5 Thursday for its second victory in as many preliminary round matches at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Later Thursday, Japan improved to 3-0 in the preliminary round with a 7-5 victory over South Korea.
With the score tied 3-all in the sixth end, ninth-ranked Denmark stole a go-ahead point at Gangneung Curling Centre, but Japan skip Satsuki Fujisawa played a draw-shot for three points to regain the lead for Japan, ranked sixth in the world, in the seventh.
Fujisawa then produced a double take-out to score two more points in the eighth to help Japan pull away for good and send Denmark to its second consecutive loss.
“Our opponents didn’t waste their chances and there was an end when we gave up three points, but it was good we were able to focus on reading the ice instead of panicking,” Fujisawa said.
The Japanese team, looking for its first Olympic medal, is skipped by Fujisawa, and features lead Yurika Yoshida, second Yumi Suzuki and third Chinami Yoshida.
Japan’s best finish in the Winter Games is fifth place, achieved at both the 2014 Sochi and 1998 Nagano Olympics.
Ten teams are competing in both the women’s and men’s events in the round-robin prelims, with the top four advancing to the semifinals.
The medal matches are scheduled on Feb. 23, 24 and 25.