Sweden progress to the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s gold medal final

  • Sweden’s Niklas Edin returns to the world championship final © WCF / Jeffrey Au

Defending champions Sweden faced Japan in Saturday afternoon’s first semi-final of the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019 in Lethbridge, Canada and won by 8-2 to face either hosts Canada or Switzerland in Sunday evening’s gold medal final.

Before that, Japan will play for bronze medals against the loser of the other semi-final.

To reach this game, Sweden had topped the round-robin table to take a direct route to the semi-finals, while Japan had beaten the Olympic champions, United States, by 7-6 after an extra end in the 4v5 qualification game.

In the first end Sweden’s skip Niklas Edin played a nose-hit on a Japanese stone in the house to open the scoring with two points.

In the second end, Japan’s skip Yuta Matsumura drew his last stone into position to score one point and reduce Sweden’s lead to 2-1.

After a blank third end, Sweden’s Edin played a straight raise tap-out to score three points in the fourth end. This moved the momentum of the game in Sweden’s favour as they increased to a 5-1 lead.

Then, in the sixth end, Japan’s Matsumura had no option but to take just one point by drawing his own last stone inside two Swedish counters already in the house. This reduced Sweden’s lead to 5-2 but in the seventh end Sweden scored another two points when their skip Edin just nudged a Japan stone out of position, giving Sweden a 7-2 lead.

A further steal of one point in the eighth end for an 8-2 score-line in Sweden’s favour was enough to persuade Japan to concede.

After the game, Edin said, “That was a really good game. We’ve played really well through the whole event up to this, so we tried to just talk about the small details and try to put everything together in one game here and I think we did just that. From the start we didn’t miss much at all. The three-pointer was big, and we were not going to let this one slip away from us at all. That was a really nice performance from the whole team.”

Looking forward to the final he said, “Now I want to win, that’s what I do sports for. It’s going to be really interesting. No matter who we play, it will be a team that’s in great form, playing well, so I just hope that we can put another game like this on and see what they can do about it. I don’t think we can play much better than that. We had a couple of peels that ran a bit straighter we’ll need to dial in on that and be careful.”

Result: Sweden 8-2 Japan

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