China, S. Korea take center stage in wheelchair curling at Winter Paralympics

Source: Xinhua| 2018-03-15 21:20:08|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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PYEONGCHANG, March 15 (Xinhua) -- China and hosts South Korea took center stage on the sixth day of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Paralympics as the two Asian countries made it to the semifinals of the wheelchair curling event.

No medal matches or snow sports events were held on Thursday as rain in PyeongChang made the snowfield soft and allowed all para skiers to take a rest.

China came the first on Wednesday night in qualifying for the semifinal stage of the wheelchair curling competition, trouncing the Neutral Paralympic Athletes (NPA) 10-4 at the Gangneung Curling Centre.

"The teamwork went really well, the team members helped each other throughout (the games), we made this good result together," said Wang Haitao, skipper of the Chinese team.

The NPA refers to Russian para-athletes in PyeongChang as Russia was banned from competing under its national flag for an alleged state-sponsored doping scandal.

The last round-robin games in the wheelchair curling were contested on Thursday, with China losing 7-6 to hosts South Korea.

The South Korean team beat Britain 5-4 in the morning session, qualifying for the semifinals. Canada added two wins in the wheelchair curling preliminaries, moving into the semis.

Reigning world champions Norway took the last spot in the semis after a 7-6 win over Slovakia in a nail-biting finish.

In the ice sledge hockey semifinals, world champions Canada trounced hosts South Korea 7-0.

With preliminary round victories over Japan and the Czech Republic, South Korea secured its best-ever Paralympic finish. The South Korea team will compete in the bronze medal match Saturday at the Gangneung Hockey Centre.

Athletes from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) returned home earlier in the day, after participating in the PyeongChang Winter Paralympics for the first time.

Two DPRK sit skiers competed in the cross-country sit ski events. They finished bottom in the rankings.