China's Ba Dexin (L) and Wang Rui react during the curling mixed doubles round robin session 5 against Becca Hamilton and Matt Hamilton from the United States at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games at the Gangneung Curling Centre in Gangneung, South Korea, on Feb. 10, 2018. (Xinhua/Ma Ping)
China beat the United States 6-4 in the round robin session of curling mixed doubles at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Saturday.[Special Coverage]
After a slow start as the teams adjusted themselves to the changes to the surface of the stones due to a polishing work done after Friday's matches, the U.S. team opened the game with a 2-0 lead. But China soon caught up and levelled the score 3-3 after the fifth end.
The sixth end was later considered a key factor to China's win of the match. The U.S. had the hammer but China managed to steal one point and turn the tide.
"We should have used our power play to score any point in the sixth end," said U.S. player Becca Hamilton after the game. "The Chinese team came out right. They kept track of our misses and were able to steal (a point.) Unfortunately we came out the wrong end of the stick," she said.
The U.S. team leveled the score 4-4 in the seventh but China, with the hammer, easily scored the decisive two points in the last end.
"We were fortunately enough coming home with the hammer. Last rock determined the result of the game. It was a good win," said China coach Rocque.
But he added that at the end of the day the key to the success is just not missing the easy shots. "Not that there is any easy one, but the ones that you have to make to win the game. Sometimes you miss something that's very difficult, that's acceptable. That's the easy ones that keep you in control of the game when you need it. That's what they (Chinese players) did today," he said.
Chinese player Ba Dexin said that both sides made a few mistakes in the game, and following the losses in the previous days, the win brought back some confidence to him.
"All eight teams here in the Olympics are very strong. Facing these opponents, we need to try our best to prepare ourselves," he said.
In the morning's other matches, Norway edged Finland 7-6, Canada outclassed Switzerland 7-2, and Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) defeated South Korea 6-5.
Eight teams are competing in the newly introduced Olympic event with the top four finishers in the preliminaries qualifying for the semifinals.
Canada, Norway and OAR now share the lead with four wins and one loss, followed by Switzerland on 3-2. China and South Korea both have two victories, while the United States have only one win and Finland five losses.