March 24, 2012
Switzerland are through to the final of the 2012 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship after beating Korea 9-6 in the semi-final of the event in Enmax Centre in Lethbridge, Canada on Saturday night. Switzerland now play Sweden for the 2012 World Women’s title and Korea face Canada in the bronze medal game.
Switzerland and Korea came onto the ice knowing that only the winners would still have the dream of becoming world champions. In front of a crowd of over 3,000, the Swiss looked like they meant business from the start, with skip Mirjam Ott drawing for two points in the first end. However, Korea were clearly not going to lie down, as skip Ji-Sun Kim responded straightaway with a draw for three shots and a 3-2 lead in the second end.
In the fourth end, Switzerland’s Ott levelled the game, drawing for a single point inside four Korean counters already in the house. The Swiss then got the first break of the game in the sixth when an attempted Korean tap-up of their own guard went all the way through the house instead of hitting one of two Swiss stones sitting there. This gave Switzerland a steal of two points for a 5-3 lead.
In the seventh end, Korea got one point back, but it took strong sweeping by their team to bring skip Kim’s final stone into scoring position. The tables turned in the eighth end when Ott’s final draw was wide and short and could not get inside two opposition stones, giving Korea a steal of two and a 6-5 lead.
But it was then Korea’s turn to make a mistake when a take-out went wrong in the ninth end, leaving Ott a simple draw to an open house to score three and take an 8-6 lead into the tenth and final end.
Korea fought all the way in this end, but left themselves with too much to do, and when a complicated raise attempt went wrong, Switzerland had another steal of one for a 9-6 win and a place in what is Ott’s first world final, against Sweden on Sunday.
Afterwards Ott said: “that was a really crazy game – up and down. We were lucky that we won. We know that errors can happen in that kind of game. We just knew we had to believe in our teams and fight and fight. I wasn’t nervous at the beginning, I just didn’t perform, but my team kept fighting and gave me great support.”
For her part, Korean skip Ji-Sun Kim said: “it is very disappointing not to be playing for gold. But it is only my second experience at this level and I’m proud to be at this level. We played OK, but I made a mistake in the ninth end with my take-out.”
Looking forward to her bronze medal match-up with Canada, she said, “I don’t know yet how we’ll play against Canada but I will do my best to win bronze.”
Switzerland’s Ott – a two-time Olympic silver medallist - now goes into her first world final, and she said: “it’ll be a good game against Sweden. We’ll have to play good curling, they’re a really strong team. We’ve lost twice against them although it was really close, but right now we’re just lucky to be in the final. I won’t be thinking too much about gold, I’ll just be thinking about curling. It’s just great to be playing my first final in the worlds in Canada, it’s just awesome.”
Semi-final: Switzerland 9, Korea 6
Standings after Semi-final
Sweden 9-3 (to play Gold Medal Game on Sunday at 16:30 Local)
Switzerland 9-4 (to play Gold Medal Game on Sunday)
Korea 9-4 (to play Bronze Medal Game on Sunday at 09:00 Local)
Canada 8-5 (to play Bronze Medal Game on Sunday)
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
Bronze Medal Game: Korea v Canada
Gold Medal Game: Sweden v Switzerland