Estonian curling pair miss out on semi-final spot after defeat to Norway
The Estonian team of Marie Kaldvee and Harri Lill went out of the World Mixed Doubles World Championship in Gangneung, South Korein on Friday after losing 5-8 to Norway in the qualifying round. The Estonian team had to settle for joint fifth place in the competition, which they shared with Scotland.
After beating Estonia 8-5, the Norwegian team of Martine Roenning and Mathias Braenden lost 4-5 to Japan in the semi-finals later on Friday.
In the other qualifying round match, the USA beat Scotland 8-6 before then defeating Canada 6-2 to make the final.
Estonia's Kaldvee and Lill had a solid record in the group stages before missing out on a semi-final spot after losing 6-8 against the Netherlands. Their defeat against Norway means Estonia finished joint fifth overall with Scotland.
"It was a pretty even game, the first four ends were really close. Actually, there were chances for both sides, it was just that Norway got a little bit better at closing down the slot and we couldn't break through that wall to take the points back," Kaldvee told ERR.
"We went further behind in that fourth end. So, in the fifth and sixth ends we had to take more risks," Lill added. "It wasn't a bad game for us, it was more like an average game but our opponent played pretty well. We just didn't play a good enough game to win this play-off."
"We've definitely played some better games during this World Championship," said Kaldvee.
Going into the tournament, the Estonian pair's goal was to finish in the top six, which they managed to do. However, in the immediate aftermath of the defeat, there was still a sense of what might have been.
"A bitter taste remains in the mouth of every athlete who goes for a medal but doesn't get one," Lill admitted. "But I think we learned a lot more from this World Championship than we have from those in the past. The most important thing is the next two World Championship events, where you can get Olympic points. It's a bad feeling, but I think it was a good World Championship for us."
"Fifth place is a pretty good position for us. You also want more, but considering the season, it's pretty okay," Lill added.
"Ultimately, once you get into the top six, it still comes down to individual games. I think we did a really good job in the group stage and maybe we were not so good in the last few days. But the way we played in the group gives us hope that one day we can finish even better. I am really happy about that."
The World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship ends on Saturday with the final between the USA and Japan.
Priort to that, Canada face Norway in the bronze medal match.
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Editor: Michael Cole