Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark opened the 2011 Capital One World Women’s Curling Championship in Esbjerg Denmark by impressively throwing the ceremonial stone into the four-foot ring.
Afterwards hosts Denmark, skipped by Lene Nielsen, faced defending world champion Andrea Scheopp of Germany in Friday evening’s opening session of round-robin play.
However, the Danish women were destined to disappoint the big home crowd that was watching. The game went all the way to Denmark’s last stone, which needed to be a perfect draw onto the button, but Nielsen held onto it too long in the delivery, committed a hog-line offence and had the stone taken off before it reached the house, leaving Germany to steal four points for an 8-3 win.
Afterwards, Scheopp explained that her team had not had the ideal preparation for the defence of their title. “We had a lot of problems before we came here as we didn’t have any ice to practice on, due to the alpine ski world championships in Garmisch. We have had very little opportunity to play with each other, so we’re not thinking about defending the title - we’ve got to get into this championship. It was good to have the first game against the Danes with the crowd, we hope they keep coming”.
Meanwhile, on the next sheet, double Olympic champion Anette Norberg led her new-look Swedish line-up against Norway’s Linn Githmark.
Norberg opened strongly taking three points in the second end and two more in the sixth, but the Norwegians hung on. In the tenth, Norberg had an uncharacteristic complete miss with a take-out attempt, and followed that up with a draw that came up short. After an umpire’s measure, Norway emerged with the two points needed to win the game 8-7.
Afterwards, Norberg said, “we did everything right in the tenth, except for my first, which went really straight and all the way through. The second one was very heavy and it didn’t go anywhere”.
Asked about her new line-up, she added, “it’s fun to play with this (new) team...but not right now though”.
Denmark 3, Germany 8; Norway 8, Sweden 7.
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