March 25, 2012
Switzerland beat Sweden 7-6 in what turned out to be a close final of the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2012 in Lethbridge, Canada on Sunday afternoon.
In front of a crowed of over 4000 spectators, the lead changed hands six times before Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott and her team of third Carmen Schäfer, second Carmen Küng, lead Janine Greiner, supported by alternate Alina Pätz and coach Thomas Lips, emerged as winners and 2012 World Champions with the last shot of the tenth end.
Sweden had last stone advantage at the start of the game, and blanked the first two ends before finally getting on the scoreboard with two points in the third end when their fourth player, Maria Prytz, hit and stayed at the back of the house.
However, Switzerland responded immediately when their skip, Mirjam Ott, drew for two points to level the game. In the fifth end, Prytz was heavy with her last stone for Sweden, giving Switzerland a steal of one point and the lead in the game for the first time, at 3-2.
But the Swedes turned the tables in the sixth end when Prytz hit out two Swiss stones to score two. Switzerland blanked the seventh end before taking the lead again in the eighth end when Ott had an easy draw for two and a 5-4 lead. And the lead changed hands yet again in the ninth end, when Sweden’s Prytz had a nose-hit for two and a 6-5 advantage.
In the tenth end, Ott was faced with a precision hit and stay to score two for the title, which she made to become only the third Swiss skip to win the world crown, and the first since 1983.
Afterwards, a delighted Swiss skip Mirjam Ott, who celebrated her 200th international championship appearance during the event, said: “It feels just great, really great, we’re so emotional. We’ve worked so hard and I’ve been waiting a long time and we finally did it. I’m so happy for the team. It is really great to win in Canada - the crowd were cheering for us and for good shots.”
She added: “This means a lot back in Switzerland. Usually there is only interest in curling for the Olympic Games but this might make a difference,” before promising: “We’ll have a big party when we get back to Davos.”
Meanwhile, Swedish lead and skip, Margaretha Sigfridsson, said: “It was a really good game but we feel sad of course. We needed to do a little bit more - what we had wasn’t enough”.
During the closing ceremony, Scottish skip Eve Muirhead was declared the winner of the World Curling Federation Frances Brodie Award, voted by the players at the event to the curler who best exhibits sportsmanship and ability.
The Ford World Women’s Curling Championship also earned Olympic qualifying points for the competing nations. Based on cumulative points earned for their finishes at the 2012 and 2013 women’s championships, the top seven countries (host Russia receives an automatic entry), will compete at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The points are as follows: Switzerland 14, Sweden 12, Canada 10, Korea 9, USA 8, Scotland** 7, Germany 6, Denmark 5, Russia* 4, Italy 3, China 2, Czech Republic 1. (*Russia as host has guaranteed qualification. **Great Britain’s qualification points are gained by Scotland at World Championships)
An additional two nations will have the chance to win their ticket to Sochi at a new World Curling Federation Olympic Qualifying Event to be held in December 2013. All nations having competed at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 World Championships would be eligible to compete in this event if they have not already secured their spot at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Gold Medal Game: Switzerland 7, Sweden 6.
1. Switzerland 10-4 GOLD
2. Sweden 9-4 SILVER
3. Canada 9-5 BRONZE
4. Korea 9-5
5. USA 7-5
6. Scotland 6-5
7. Germany 5-6
8. Denmark 5-6
9. Russia 4-7
10. Italy 3-8
11. China 3-8
12. Czech Republic 2-9
The World Men’s Curling Championship 2012 begins on Saturday 31 March at the St Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland and runs until Sunday 8 March. Event website: www.wmcc2012.curlingevents.com