Japan's women secure Beijing Olympics curling berth

Japan's Satsuki Fujisawa (bottom L) gives instructions to her teammates during the women's first playoff game against South Korea on Dec. 17, 2021, in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, at the final curling qualifying tournament for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, with Kim Eun Jung (top L) looking on. (Kyodo)

Japan secured a spot in the Beijing Olympics’ women’s curling tournament, when Loco Solare beat South Korea’s team 8-5 in Friday’s playoffs at the Olympic qualification event.

The win by Japan’s Pyeongchang Olympic bronze medalists over the silver medal-winning South Korean team earned Japan a berth at the seventh straight Winter Olympics since the first women’s tournament took place at the 1998 Nagano Games.

“At Pyeongchang, we left filled with the frustration of having watched the final from the stands,” Loco Solare’s Yurika Yoshida said. “I want to have an Olympics that won’t leave me with any regrets.”

Loco Solare was third in the event behind the second-place South Koreans, with Scotland booking a trip to Beijing by finishing first. All three teams finished the round-robin with identical 6-2 records with their finishes decided by their aggregate pre-game Draw Shot Challenge rankings.

The Beijing Olympics are set to run from Feb. 4 to Feb. 20.