Qualification drama as Denmark women secure PyeongChang place
It required an extra end but Denmark were finally able to book their place at next year's Olympic Winter Games after victory over Italy.
In a tense and incident-packed game at the Olympic Qualification Event 2017 in Pilsen, it was the Danes, led by skip Madeleine Dupont, who held their nerve to triumph 5-4.
The Italians were ahead 2-1 as the teams played the seventh end and their skip Diana Gaspari had looked to extend that by a further two points when she drew her last stone into the house.
But two of her stones were removed due to being accidentally touched by sweepers when in play and a similar incident happened in the very next end – this time the last Italian stone was discounted and a Danish stone replaced, allowing the latter to draw for two and level the game at 3-3.
When the game went to an extra end, Dupont played a complicated double angle raise take-out to lie one point but Gaspari came up short with her final draw to hand Denmark the win.
Dupont will be joined by her sister Denise, with the two having both competed at the Vancouver 2010 Games, while the latter will be making her third appearance having also played at Turin 2006,
They are also supported in the team by second Julie Hoegh, lead Mathilde Hasle and supported by alternate Lina Almind Khudsen.
Madeline Dupont said: "Nobody likes the situation where you have to take a rock out, but then again, it's a competition and two times it was hit, and Italy agreed both times. Being in their shoes I can't imagine how they feel.
"Three months ago, our institute funding was taken away, because they thought we did not have a chance, so going to the Olympics is more than we ever hoped for or dared to dream of, it's absolutely amazing."
It was double disappointment for Italy after they lost out to China in Saturday's first qualification match.
It means the final line up for PyeongChang 2018 women's curling competition consists of Canada, Switzerland, Great Britain, United States, Sweden, hosts Korea, Japan, China and Denmark.
Russia's women's team have also qualified for the Olympic Winter Games through the qualification points system. Their place at the Games as clean 'Olympic Athletes from Russia' will be decided by the International Olympic Committee.