December 15 - Japan secured the final available spot in the women's tournament for Sochi 2014 following victory over Norway in the second play-off game at the World Curling Federation's (WCF) Olympic Qualification event in Füessen.
Having lost to 2010 bronze medallists China in the first play-off match, which ensured China's qualification to Sochi, Japan were hoping to make amends and continue their 100 per cent qualification rate since the sport was introduced into the women's programme at Nagano1998.
Norway, meanwhile, were hoping to turn their fortunes around having failed to qualify for the tournament at Vancouver 2010.
Japan got off to the better start, scoring a single point in the first end to lead coming into the second.
Norwegian skip Marianne Roervik hit back soon after, hitting for two points in the second end and adding a further steal when Japan's Ayumi Ogasawara missed on a double take-out attempt.
A point in the fourth followed by a steal in the fifth brought Japan back on level terms before the team rolled a succession of stones into the house in a crucial eight end which were followed by a superb hit and stay by Ogasawara to seal six points and give Japan a 9-4 advantage.
In the ninth end, Roervik was heavy with her final draw and gave Japan a steal of one point, at which point the Norwegians conceded with the final score 10-4.
This result means that Ogasawara and her team of Yumie Funayama, Kaho Onodera and Michiko Tomabechi, supported by alternate Chinami Yoshida and coach Fuji Miki, qualified Japan as the last nation in the women's curling competition at Sochi 2014.
"I'm so happy and I really wanted to win. I appreciate what the coaches have done for us, so thank you so much to them," said Ogasawara.
"They played well and we were patient.
"We got our chance in the eighth end and we made it."
Japan will now join reigning Olympic champions Sweden, Olympic silver medallists Canada, Great Britain, Switzerland, United States, Denmark, China and hosts Russia in the Games.
The men's contest will see the US join Canada, Sweden, Great Britain, Norway, Denmark, China, Switzerland, Germany and Russia after they beat the Czech Republic in the final match of the qualifying event in Germany.
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