China suffer first curling defeat in race to PyeongChang
China's women have suffered their first defeat of the curling Olympic Qualification Event to open up the path to PyeongChang 2018.
Wang Bingyu's rink had boasted three wins from three in Pilsen but found themselves bested by a resolute Italy side, going down 8-5 in the Czech Republic.
It came courtesy of a dramatic comeback too, China leading by three points with just three ends left to play. But a dramatic steal saw the game levelled up by a three-point eighth end, while Italy took the lead for the first time with just one to play at 6-5.
And from there they pulled the victory out of the bag, scoring two in the tenth end to pick up their second win of competition and leave three teams with one defeat as the race to the Olympic Winter Games hots up.
That trio includes Denmark after they suffered their first defeat of the competition at the hands of the hosts.
That contest was to follow in similar fashion to that on adjacent ice, Denmark leading the way 5-4 heading into the closing stages.
But, just as Italy did, the Czech Republic came roaring back with a scoring run of two, two and one to pull off the 9-5 win to send the fans home happy.
The other game in the session was not to have the same level of drama as Latvia prevailed 10-5 for their second win of the tournament against the winless Finland side.
In truth the game was over as a contest in the early stages, with Latvia five points to the good come the halfway stage. Finland rallied, taking two from the eighth end, though their opposition comfortably held on without need for a tenth end.
The women's competition continues on Thursday evening, with Germany and Italy face off as are the Czech Republic and Finland.
Latvia and Denmark will do battle while China have a bye for the round, with two teams set to qualify for PyeongChang come Sunday.