Korea joins curling's Asian invasion
By CON GRIWKOWSKY, QMI Agency
|South Korea skip Kim Ji-Sun shouts to her teammates during their game against Czech Republic at the World Women's Curling Championships in Lethbridge, Alberta March 17, 2012. (ANDY CLARK/Reuters)
LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. - Add Korea's name to curling's Asian invasion.
Young skip Ji-Sun Kim, 24, has become one of the early surprises at the women's world curling championship.
Korea was winless in its first world appearance in 2002.
When Kim showed up as the country's rookie skip at the 2011 worlds, the team finished 11th with a 2-9 record.
This time, Kim has rattled off four straight wins after losing her event opener.
After beating pre-event favourites Sweden on Day 1 and Scotland Monday morning, the team has already doubled its Ws from last year and is solidly in playoff contention.
Korea is definitely punching above its weight and the diminutive skip couldn't be happier.
"It's very exciting and very fun," said Kim, who's unaccustomed to facing the glare of the media spotlight. "Today, my spirit is very good."
Kim apologized several times as she struggled with her English. No matter, so far she's done her speaking on the ice.
"Today is very exciting," said Kim. "Maybe the three wins is very good. Today is better. I hope tomorrow is even better."
Kim is in somewhat of a state of disbelief that she's already bettered her 2011 record.
"I don't know if I'll win or lose the next game, but I'd like to win," said Kim. "I don't know if it's our ice-reading is good, our throwing is good or our mental preparation is good."
Kim's team has spend the past couple of years spending time training at the Calgary Curling Club and their expectations were a lot higher this time around. Their expectations may have been raised a bit when this foursome won the bronze medal at the 2011 Universiade.
"We wanted to make playoffs," said Kim.
The way this team has started, that's a distinct possibility.