By Daniel Etchells

China have made it to the World Wheelchair Curling Championship gold medal game for the first time ©WCF/Alina PavlyuchikChina secured a place in the World Wheelchair Curling Championship gold medal game for the first time in their history thanks to a 3-1 play-off victory against previously unbeaten Russia in Lohja.

The win ensures China will finish with a silver medal at the very least, marking the country's best-ever performance at the event.

The first half in the Kisakallio Sports Institute was a nervy affair, with China stealing one point in the first end and Russia levelling in the next.

It remained that way until the seventh end when China skip Haitao Wang made a hit to score two points for a 3-1 lead.

They then went on to run their opponents out of stones in the eighth and inflict Russia's first defeat of the Championships.

"We had a long discussion before this game about the tactics we would use, how we would play and how we should approach the game mentally," said Wang.

"Of course, before the game we were very nervous, but as we got into the game we calmed down and I think that proved key today - staying calm and focused in every end.

"We got the win and we are all so happy to reach the gold medal game."

Slovakia beat hosts Finland to reach their first semi-final at the Championship ©WCF/Alina PavlyuchikSlovakia beat hosts Finland to reach their first semi-final at the Championship
©WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

Russia will now play in tomorrow's sole semi-final against Slovakia, who beat hosts Finland 6-5 in the other play-off encounter.

Finland led 4-2 at the start of the seventh end but found themselves 5-4 behind going into the eighth as Slovakia's Branislav Jakubec made a takeout with his final stone to score three points.

Skip Markku Karjalainen had the chance to win the game for Finland in this end, but was heavy in his attempt to draw into the house for two points and only managed one point which forced the extra end.

There, Karjalainen hit a guard with his last stone, giving Slovakia one point for a 6-5 win.

Like China, Slovakia have also made history by reaching the semi-finals for the first time in what is only their third appearance at the Championship.

"It's the first time we have qualified for the semi-final so we are very happy," said Slovakia skip Radoslav Duris.

"I think that the three points in the seventh end was key in the end.

"We've played better with each game - we always go out and try to do our best and thankfully we won this afternoon."

The winner of the semi-final will progress to the gold medal game to play China, while the loser will play Finland for the bronze medal.

Both games are scheduled to take place tomorrow.

Germany overcame Scotland in the relegation tie-breaker ©WCF/Alina PavlyuchikGermany overcame Scotland in the relegation tie-breaker ©WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

As well as the play-offs, Germany defeated Scotland 6-3 in the relegation tie-breaker, meaning Scotland, Paralympic bronze medallists at Sochi only a year ago, will join Sweden and Norway in the World Wheelchair Curling Qualification event.

The event, held in the same venue in Lohja between November 7 and 12, will qualify teams for the 2016 World Wheelchair Curling Championship, due to take place in Lucerne in February.

Three teams were relegated because Switzerland are not taking part in this year's World Championship but are automatically guaranteed one of the places in the 2016 Championship as hosts.

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