Olympics / Winter Olympics / Curling

South Korea men end Japan's hopes of reaching curling playoff stage

Kyodo

The Japan men’s curling team lost 10-4 to South Korea in a preliminary round match on Wednesday, ending its chances of advancing to the playoff stage at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Japan completed the round-robin stage with four wins and five losses.

Led by skip Yusuke Morozumi, Japan’s foursome entered the game at Gangneung Curling Centre against the already-eliminated South Koreans needing a win to advance to the semifinals, but committed several costly errors that squandered its chance to go through.

With the game tied 1-1 in the third end, Morozumi failed in his attempt at a double takeout, allowing Olympic debutant South Korea to score a deuce on skip Kim Chang-min’s final draw stone.

In the sixth, Morozumi missed his mark again and removed two of Japan’s stones from the house, as Kim picked up four points on his final draw stone. Japan conceded the game after the South Koreans stole three points in the eighth end.

The Japane men’s team was making its first Olympic appearance since 1998, when the country hosted the Nagano Games and finished fifth.

Sweden, Canada and the United States qualified for Thursday’s semifinals, while Britain and Switzerland will play in the tiebreaker. The medal matches are scheduled for Friday and Saturday.