SAPPORO, Japan, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese men's curling team overcame Kazakhstan 12-1, winning their first match with ease at the Sapporo Winter Asian Games here on Saturday.
China, silver medalist in the Pacific-Asia Championships in 2016, took the lead from the first end and enlarged it to 9-0 in the fifth. Kazakhstan earned their only point in the sixth, going on to lose the match.
"We are very proud and excited to be the first team competing at the Sapporo Asiad in our entire delegation," said Chinese first Zang Jialiang. "We had some pressure for sure, but when the competition began, we just became totally focused," Zhang added.
Chinese skipper Liu Rui, the fourth winner for China in the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, says the victory is the result of intensive training. " We've been trained together for five years, and we knew each other quite well. Our aim here is trying our best in every match and I hope the best result will come eventually," Liu said.
The team's head coach Victor G. Kim shares that view, and says that the chance to travel around Asia has helped the team hone its skills.
"We established the curling team in 2003 and began to compete in Asia region in 2007. We don't have our own venue in our country, so the team took every chance to practice and improve during every competition," said Kim, who is also skipper for Kazakhstan.
In the morning's other matches, host Japan beat Chinese Taipei 11-3, and South Korea outclassed Qatar 20-0.