Germany takes big step at Mixed Doubles OQE


Team Germany (Photo: Celine Stuck/WCFi) get back in the running for one of two spots at the 2022 Winter Olympics with two-win day.

By: Cameron Sallaj

After a shaky 1-2 start to the last chance qualification event for Germans Pia-Lisa Schoell and Klaudius Harsch, the pair got back on track during the third day of competition with two important victories over Spain and Turkey. The two wins move Germany up to a tie for third place in Group A, as they now share a 3-2 record with Jasmin Lander and Henrik Holtermann of Denmark.

Schoell and Harsh began their day in draw 8 where they took on Oihane Unanue and Mikel Unanue of Spain (0-4). After trailing 2-1 after two ends, the team from the combined locales of Oberstdorf and Fuessen scored a key three ender in the third end, followed up by a pivotal steal of two in the fourth to lead 6-2 at the break. From there, the Germans never looked back, taking another three in the sixth end to win the game by a final score of 9-5. The win officially eliminated Spain from the competition.

In their second game of the day, Germany took on Dilsat Yildiz and Ugurcan Karagoz of Turkey (0-4). In this game, the Germans would never trail, scoring two in the first and riding the steal train to a convincing 7-0 victory after six ends of play. The win saw Turkey's chance at the OQE come to an end, however, Yildiz will skip the Turkish women's team in the women's event beginning December 11.

Elsewhere in Group A play, Australian's Tahli Gill and Dean Hewitt also scored two important victories which ensured the team's qualification for the playoff round at the OQE. In both games the Aussies had to come from behind, however, scoring three in the seventh and stealing one in the eighth to defeat Denmark 8-7 and stealing two consecutive ends to defeat the Russian Olympic Committee.

Hungary's Dorottya Palancsa and Zsolt Kiss currently sit second in Group A with a 3-1 record and close out their round robin tomorrow against Australia and Denmark. Anna Sidorova and Alexey Timofeev of the Russian Olympic Committee are also still in the playoff hunt but need two wins to do so as they currently sit with a 2-2 round robin record. The team from Russia close out their round robin tomorrow with two games against Germany and Turkey.

In Group B, both Korea and the United States secured playoff spots, and currently sit with identical 5-0 records after the third day of competition. Korea had tight victories over Estonia 10-8 and Latvia 9-7 where as the United States did not play eight ends in either of their games, beating Latvia 10-3 in the morning and New Zealand 9-3 in the afternoon. The two teams will face off tomorrow, with the winner earning a direct bye to the qualification final whereas the loser will have to go through the semifinals to qualify for the finals.

Finland's Oona Kauste and Aku Kauste currently sit third in Group B with a 3-2 record and are closely followed by Japan's Chiaki Matsumura and Yasumasa Tanida at 2-3. The two teams will face off tomorrow, with the winner earning the third and final playoff spot out of Group B. Latvia (2-4), Estonia (1-4) and New Zealand (0-5) have all been eliminated from the Olympic Qualification Event.

The top three teams in each Group at the conclusion of the round robin will qualify for the playoff round. From there, first place in each pool will qualify directly for the final qualification games. A2 will play B3 and B2 will play A3 in the qualification semifinals with the winners advancing to the finals Thursday night.

Mixed doubles action from the Olympic Qualification Event continues tomorrow and will run until December 9 where two teams will qualify their nation for the 2022 Winter Olympics. At the conclusion of the mixed doubles event, the men's and women's qualifiers will run from December 11-18 which will determine the three remaining qualifiers for the Beijing Games.

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