Switzerland, the defending champion nation, has won the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2016, in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada today (Sunday 27 March 2016).
This is the fourth time in five years it has won the World Women’s Curling title and a second time for skip Binia Feltscher and her team – third Irene Schori, second Franziska Kaufmann, lead Christine Urech and alternate Carol Howald. This same team also won in 2014, in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.
Switzerland kept their winning streak going when their team beat a Japanese team skipped by Satsuki Fujisawa – third Chimani Yoshida, second Yumi Suzuki, lead Yurika Yoshida and alternate Mari Motohashi – by 9-6 in Sunday afternoon's Gold Medal Game in the Credit Union iplex.
Feltscher's team opened the scoring in the second end when Feltscher drew her last stone into the house for one point. Japan's Fujisawa blanked the third end and then levelled the score in the fourth, with a nose-hit for one.
The lead was to change hands five times during the game and, in the fifth Switzerland's Feltscher attempted a delicate tap-up for two points but nudged out one of her own stones. She had to settle for just one point instead and a 2-1 lead. But, Japan took the lead in the next end, when Fujisawa had a hit for two points and a 3-2 score-line.
In the seventh end, the Swiss would have scored four points if Feltscher could have kept her shooting stone in the house, but it rolled out and they scored just three instead, to re-take the lead, at 5-3. The lead changed hands again in the eighth end when Fujisawa played a hit-and-stay to score three points, for 6-5 in her favour.
Feltscher produced a perfectly-judged draw to the button in the ninth end to score two more points and re-take the lead again, at 7-6, and in the tenth end, when Fujisawa was heavy with her last stone, Switzerland stole two more points for a 9-6 win and the World title.
Earlier in the day Russia's Anna Sidorova and her team of third Margarita Fomina, second Alexandra Raeva, lead Nkeiruka Ezekh and alternate Alina Kovaleva had beaten Canada by 9-8 to take the 2016 Bronze medals.
During the closing ceremony it was announced that Irene Schori, third player for Switzerland, was the winner of the Frances Brodie Award, voted for by all the players, to recognise the curler they think best exemplified curling's values and sportsmanship throughout the event.
The Ford World Women's Curling Championship was last staged in Swift Current in 2010 and, like then, the cumulative audience figures exceeded 50,000 for the week.
Based on participation at the last three World Curling Championships, 2014 and/or 2015 men's and women's world championships, 15 countries have now at least qualified for the Olympic Qualification Event in December 2017:
They are: Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain (Scotland); Italy, Japan, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA.
As the host country, Korea is already qualified for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games [in Pyeongchang, South Korea – 9-25 February], and seven other nations will qualify by earning sufficient Olympic Qualification Points at the 2016 and 2017 world championships of each gender. The others then have the option of trying to win one of two qualifying slots [each gender] at the Olympic Qualification Event.
They Said It
Binia Feltscher; Switzerland skip (after 9-6 win over Japan): "I can't believe it."
Irene Schori; Switzerland third (after 9-6 win over Japan): "We are so excited. It's unbelievable, it's so great. We can't realise it right now [that this is our second title] – maybe tomorrow, we are so excited, it's awesome.
“We struggled a bit with the sweeping but we came back later on. They [Japan] played really good, congratulations to them, they deserve it also, it was a great match. This is great news for everyone in Switzerland. The whole week was like a dream. A very great ride, and we just enjoyed part of it here."
Satsuki Fujisawa; Japan skip (after 6-9 loss to Switzerland): "We had a good chance to take the Gold there but we didn't make it, so that's a little difficult. We really know that we were fortunate to make it to the final and we'll just do our best to try to get back here next year."
Up-to-date Women’s World Rankings: www.worldcurling.org/rankings-men-and-women
Up-to-date Women’s Olympic Winter Games 2018 qualification points:
RESULTS, Gold Medal Game
Switzerland 9-6 Japan
STANDINGS after Gold Medal Game (W-L)
Switzerland 11-2: Gold
Japan 10-4: Silver
Russia 10-4: Bronze