Korea win historic gold medal at VoIP Defender World Juniors

  • Korea's first-ever junior men's medallists Photos: © WCF / Richard Gray

Korea won a historic first-ever men’s medal when they beat USA in Sunday (26 February) afternoon’s final to take gold medals at the VoIP Defender World Junior Curling Championships 2017 (WJCC), in the Gangneung Curling Centre, Gangneung, Republic of Korea.

This game featured four blank ends and it was Korea – skipped by Ki Jeong Lee and made up of third Ki Bok Lee, second and vice-skip Yu Jin Seong, lead Jeong Uk Choi and alternate Gyeong Ho Woo – who opened the scoring with a single point steal in the fourth end.

The USA – lead by Andrew Stopera and made up of third and vice-skip Luc Violette, second Ben Richardson, lead Graem Fenson and alternate Nicholas Connolly – took the lead with two points in the fifth end through a gentle tap-back by Stopera.

After blanking the sixth end Korea took a 3-2 lead in the seventh end and built on that with a single-point steal in the eighth, for 4-2. USA came right back to level the score at 4-4 in the ninth end and eventually Korean skip Ki Jeong Lee played a hit which stayed in position to score the one point that gave his team and his country the 2017 title.

In the bronze medal final between Norway and Scotland, the Norwegians built up a 7-0 lead with steals in each of the first three ends on the way to a 10-3, eight-end win that secured their position on the podium. The Norwegians athletes were skip Magnus Ramsfjell, third Bendik Ramsfjell, second Magnus Trulsen, lead and vice-skip Eskil Vintervold and alternate Elias Hoestmaelingen.

During the closing ceremony, the WJCC 2017 Sportsmanship Award winners were announced – these awards are given to those “who exemplify the traditional values of skill, honesty, fair play, sportsmanship and friendship in the world of curling”, as voted for by the other players. Sweden’s third player Jennie Waahlin added this to the gold medal she had received on Saturday (25 February), while bronze medallist Magnus Trulsen, second player for Norway, was the men’s winner (pictured below).

Also, at the conclusion of the championships it was confirmed that the World Junior Curling Championships 2018 will be held in Aberdeen, Scotland between 3 and 11 March 2018.

They said it

Ki Jeong Lee; skip, Korea (after 5-4 gold medal game win over USA): “We played the USA in the previous rounds and we lost, so we wanted this win very badly, we really wanted to win this gold. We could not have done this without the fans, the support from our parents and our coaches, so we really want to thank them – we are so ecstatic in winning gold.”

Andrew Stopera; skip, USA (after winning silver medals): “Well, we’re disappointed and it sucks right now, but in a few days’ time we’ll start to be pleased with silver. There might have been a couple of shots I’d want to re-play but we made some good ones too – so did they. We’ve learned what it takes at this event and we’ve got two more years as juniors. This is as big as it gets for us, now we’ve got to put in the hard work to try to get back here.”

Magnus Ramsfjell; skip, Norway (after 10-3 win over Scotland): “We came for a medal and we got a medal, so we are happy. We made some good shots in the beginning and that really made it. They were unfortunate in how their stones went, they just didn’t work out and see how much difference that makes in the sport. As a team, we tried to really push each other to play our best and work together and always be happy.”
Results men’s final: [gold] USA 4-5 Korea; [bronze] Scotland 3-10 Norway

Men’s standings after finals:

G Korea
B Norway
4 Scotland
5 Canada
6 Switzerland
7 Sweden
8 Italy
9 China
10 Turkey

For highlight information from these championships visit, www.worldcurling.org/broadcast

To follow the action from the WJCC 2017 follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags: #WJCC2017 #CurlClean #curling #Roadto2018

WCTV highlights