Canada women win gold at World Junior Curling Championships 2018

  • Canada celebrate their gold medal win © WCF / Richard Gray

Canada beat defending champions Sweden by 7-4 in Saturday morning’s women’s final, in Curling Aberdeen, Scotland, to win gold and become the World Junior Curling Championships winners for 2018.

In the bronze medal game, China beat Norway by 11-5 to win the first-ever medals for China at this level.

Canada – skip Kaitlyn Jones, third Kristin Clarke, second player Karlee Burgess and lead Lindsey Burgess, supported by alternate Lauren Lenentine and coach Andrew Atherton – scored two points in the third end to move into an early lead at 2-1. Sweden scored one point in the fourth end to level the game at 2-2, but Canada moved ahead again in the fifth end when a double takeout by their skip Jones produced a score of three and a half-time lead of 5-2.

Sweden – skip Isabella Wranaa, third Jennie Waahlin, second player Almida De Val and lead Fanny Sjoeberg, supported by alternate Maria Larsson and coach Margaretha Sigfridsson – were chasing after this, but a steal of one point by Canada in the eighth end, when Wranaa’s double takeout attempt left one Canadian stone still lying in the house, moved the Canadians to a 7-3 lead. The Swedes could only score one point in the ninth end and ran out of stones in the tenth end to concede their title to Canada.

This was the 12th women’s world junior title by Canada, but in contrast, the bronze medal won by China when they beat Norway by 11-5 was a first at this level for the Chinese Federation. This is another historic first for the Pacific-Asia zone, following Korea (gold) and Japan (bronze) women's first Olympic Winter Games medal in Gangneung, Republic of Korea last month.

The turning point in this game came when China - fourth player Ziqi Dong, skip and third player Zixin Wang, second Meini Wang and lead Chengyu Sun, supported by alternate Jiaxin Yu and coach Yu Zhu – scored four points in the fifth end for a 6-3 lead at the break. In the eighth end, China stole another four points when a draw attempt by Norway’s skip Maia Ramsfjell went all the way through the house, leaving four Chinese stones in the house. Norway conceded after that to give China their historic bronze medals.

They said it

Kaitlyn Jones; skip, Canada (after 7-4 gold medal game win over Sweden): "This is indescribable and I feel amazing right now. I know I put everything out there on the line today and came out on top and that’s just an incredible feeling. I’m super proud of my team. We’ve worked so hard to get here and for me moving all the way across Canada to play with them, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. It’s a goal to force them to one and we got the end-goal that we wanted. Whenever they had the hammer we wanted to keep them close to one."

Isabella Wranaa; skip, Sweden (after winning silver medals): “We played really well in the first ten games then we had one poor game and unfortunately ended up with silver. We ticked every guard, or if we were around the guard we were not hiding. I think we were a bit unlucky and the Canadian skip [Kaitlyn Jones] played really well today. Of course, we were looking to defend our title but this happens and it’s not the happiest moment in our lives really.”

Marcel Rocque; coach, China (after 11-5 bronze medal game win over Norway): “These girls were one shot away from the gold-medal match; they’ve got more of a base as a result of the work we did this past summer. They should be really proud of what they’ve accomplished and the vision that they’ve had in establishing a system that has allowed them to get more juniors out. I hope it creates a lot of ambitious young players that want to fight for these goals and these dreams. Along with the Beijing Olympics, this is building good momentum for sure.”
Women's medal-game results: Sweden 4-7 Canada; China 11-4 Norway

Final women's standings

G Canada 9-2
S Sweden 10-1
B China 6-5
Norway 5-6
United States 4-5
Korea 4-5
Switzerland 4-5
>B Russia 3-6
>B Scotland 3-6
>B Turkey 0-9

>B - relegated to Junior-B event

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