December 14 - Germany's men's curling team will be heading to Sochi 2014 next year after securing their place with a win over the Czech Republic today at the Olympic qualification tournament taking place on home ice in Füssen.
Led by skip John Jahr, the home squad ultimately beat their opponents 7-4 in the playoff game between the first and second placed teams, but the victory was not without its challenges.
A low scoring first half of the game saw Germany claiming just a single point in the second end, with the Czechs responding with a point of their own in the fourth end.
The fifth end saw more action when Germany's fourth player Felix Schulze played a short raise to take out the counting Czech stone and score three points for a 4-1 lead.
The Czechs fought back in the second half of the game, scoring one point in the sixth end and then, after Germany blanked the seventh and eighth ends, another in the ninth end to reduce the German lead to 4-3.
Schulze's last stone rolled an inch too far on his take-out in the tenth end, giving the Czechs another single steal to level the score at 4-4 and push the game into an extra end.
This end saw Czech skip Jiří Snítil play two precision draws near the button, but Schulze was accurate enough with his own last stone to take out the counting Czech stone and score three points for the win that secured their place at next year's Winter Olympics.
"That was really exciting," Jahr said.
"It looked easy after five or six ends but then we made mistakes and we rolled too far in the tenth, so it was extra end, last shot.
"But it's really good now.
"For the German Curling Federation, it's really important.
"They said we had to be at the Olympics to be recognised here in Germany."
A philosophical Snítil congratulated his winning challengers and his team will now have another chance to secure the final place at Sochi 2014 when they take on the United States, who beat Korea by 7-5 in a tiebreaker for third place, tomorrow.
"We have one more shot so we will try to re-group and come out tomorrow and perform better than today," he added.
Tomorrow will also see the women's teams take to the ice when China take on Japan for the first of two Sochi 2014 places, with the losing squad then facing Norway to compete for the final Olympic spot.
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December 2013: Füssen to host inaugural World Curling Federation Olympic Qualification tournament