Silvana Tirinzo and Team Switzerland (Photo: World Curling Federation) have earned the top spot heading into the playoffs at the 2023 World Women's Curling Championship.
By: Dylan Chenier
With a 20-draw round-robin now in the books, the playoff field is officially set at the 2023 World Women's Curling Championship in Sandviken, Sweden. Leading the way heading into this year's six-team playoffs is Silvana Tirinzoni's Team Switzerland, who went undefeated in all 12 of their games this week.
The three-time defending world champions are just two wins away from making it four-in-a-row, with Switzerland receiving a bye to Saturday evening's semifinals. Tirinzoni's rink wrapped up the round-robin on Friday evening with a 5-3 victory over South Korea.
Joining Switzerland as the second country heading directly to the semifinals is Marianne Roervik and Team Norway. The Norwegians finished a distant second in the standings, posting an 8-4 record on the week. In their final contest of the round-robin, Roervik's squad defeated Team Germany (Jentsch) 6-3.
The remaining four playoff teams will contest a first-round qualification draw on Saturday morning, with the winners of the two games advancing to the evening's semifinals. Finishing in third place in the standings with a 7-5 record is Kerri Einarson's Team Canada.
Canada had a chance at a top-two finish in the standings going into Friday, unfortunately, an 11-5 loss to Denmark in the team's final game of the round-robin meant Eianrson's rink was unable to match Norway's record. Team Canada will now get set to face off against Satsuki Fujisawa's Team Japan in a must-win qualification game.
The two rinks last met on Thursday in Sandviken, with Fujisawa taking a narrow 6-5 victory. Saturday's matchup marks the 11th contest between the two rinks this season, with the head-to-head record tied at five wins apiece for both skips. Japan earned its spot in the qualification game after the rink finished the round-robin in sixth place at 7-5.
This week in Sandviken, Einarson is looking to secure her second medal at women's worlds, after the Gimli-based skip took home the bronze last year in Prinze George to finish the event in third place. Meanwhile, Fujisawa has one world championship medal to her name, after finishing in second place in 2016.
The second and final qualification game on Saturday morning will see hosts Anna Hasselborg and Team Sweden take on Italy's Stefania Constantini. Both teams finished the round-robin with identical 7-5 records, with Italy finishing in the higher position, due to the fact Constantini beat Hasselborg 7-3 in Draw 19.
Saturday's qualification draw is set to take place at 10:00 a.m. CET (5:00 a.m. ET), with the winners advancing to the semifinals at 4:00 p.m. CET (11:00 a.m. ET). Both of Saturday's playoff rounds will be broadcast live in Canada on TSN 1, with the qualification game also available on TSN 3.
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