Sweden defend title at Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s 2019

  • Sweden win world championship © WCF / Jeffrey Au

Sweden successfully defended their title when they beat hosts Canada by 7-2 in the gold medal final of the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019, in the ENMAX Centre, in Lethbridge, Canada, a win that gives their skip Niklas Edin a fourth world crown.

In this achievement, skip Edin was supported by third Oskar Eriksson, second player Rasmus Wranaa, and lead Christoffer Sundgren, assisted by alternate Daniel Magnusson and coach Fredrik Lindberg.

The Canadian silver medallists were: skip Kevin Koe, third B. J. Neufeld, second player Colton Flasch, and lead Ben Hebert, supported by alternate Ted Appelman and coach John Dunn.

The game started cagily, as Sweden, with last stone advantage, blanked the first two ends. Canada then got the first point of the game on the board in the third end when Edin’s clear-out jammed on a back stone, giving Canada a single-point steal.

In the fourth end, Edin was forced to draw for one point to level the game at 1-1. Then, in the fifth end, with two Swedish stones sitting on opposite sides of the house, it was the turn of Canada’s Kevin Koe to be forced to draw for one point to take a 2-1 lead into the break.

In the sixth end, Canada had three stones in scoring position in the house and this forced Sweden’s Edin to draw inside them all, for one point and to level the game again, at 2-2.

Canada blanked the seventh end. Then, after a long delay in the eighth end as the handle on Edin’s last stone was replaced, an unfazed Edin successfully played a double take-out with the repaired stone to lie three shots. After this, Canada’s Koe attempted to draw inside the three Swedish stones, but he came up short to hand Sweden a steal of two points and a 4-2 lead.

A further steal of three points for Sweden in the ninth end for a 7-2 lead when Koe’s take-out attempt failed was enough to persuade the Canadians to concede the game and the world title.

A delighted Edin said, “It feels amazing. This was probably the sweetest win of my career. We’ve never played better than this for an event, it felt like we were dominating the whole week. Then we struggled at the start of this game and then we were trailing the whole game. Then we got that extra two minutes to think about that shot [in the eighth end]. I didn’t really like that and I’m really glad I made the shot. Then I just walked away to the toilet and when I got back, I saw that we stole two. From there it never felt that we were going to lose this game”

Speaking about his opponents he added, “Kevin Koe and his team have played so solid. We knew it was going to be tough, we knew it was going to be a really tough game, but we’re so happy with the turn-around to make it.”

Meanwhile, a subdued Kevin Koe said, “We wanted to win this so badly and it’s very disappointing. We’re pretty deflated. After the eighth end we felt terrible – the steal of two was disappointing. It’s unfortunate, but they’re a great team.”

He took time to praise the packed house of Canadian fans saying, “The support has been awesome, it’s just a pity that we couldn’t win it for them.”

During the closing ceremony, it was announced that SooHyuk Kim, skip for Korea, was the winner of the Collie Campbell Memorial Award, voted for by all the players to recognise the player they think best exemplified curling’s values and sportsmanship throughout the event.

Gold medal result: Sweden 7-2 Canada.

Final Standings

Gold Sweden
Silver Canada
Bronze Switzerland
4 Japan
5 United States
6 Scotland
7 Italy
8 Germany
9 Russia
10 Netherlands
11 China
12 Norway
13 Korea

Watch, follow, engage

Live coverage of these championships will be available via the World Curling Federation’s broadcast partners: Eurosport (Europe-wide), TSN and RDS (Canada), NBCSports (United States), NHK (Japan), CCTV5 (China), SBS (Korea), SRF/RTS/RSI (Switzerland), Viasat (Denmark, Norway, Finland), Polsat (Poland), SVT (Sweden), Match TV (Russia), La Chaine Equipe (France), BBC Online (United Kingdom). Coverage will also be available, subject to geo-blocking restrictions, on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube Channels: www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media during the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (@WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #WMCC2019 #curling