Estonia win World Wheelchair-B Curling Championship 2018

  • Estonia wins the World Wheelchair-B Curling Championship © WCF / Katja Kiiskinen

As host city Tallinn, in Estonia, prepares to present the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships for the first time tomorrow (16 November) the Estonian wheelchair curling team were hard at work themselves in Lohja, Finland.

The Estonian foursome of skip Viljar Villiste, vice-skip Andrei Koitmae, second Ain Villau and lead Signe Falkenberg captured the World Wheelchair-B Curling Championship 2018 title after winning 7-3 against Slovakia in the final.

The World Wheelchair-B Curling Championship qualified the three teams who medalled at the event for the World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Stirling, Scotland from 3 to 10 March 2019. The win marks the first time an Estonian team will compete at the worlds, a feat that is meaningful for skip, Villiste.

He said: “This is just an amazing feeling. Simply amazing. In the beginning of the week, we were ready for this, we hoped for this, but it is still an amazing feeling. We have worked really hard for this, like everyone else here too. I believed that this would be possible, but it’s just a great feeling now that it’s become true.”

With Latvia claiming the bronze medal 6-5 against Finland, they will join Estonia and Slovakia in Stirling to round out the 13 team field.

In the championship final, Estonia got off to a strong start with a 4-1 lead at the halfway mark. The match saw a significant leap for the Estonian’s when they stole three points in the fifth end after a series of missed take-out attempts from the Slovaks. With a 7-1 advantage, Estonia defended their lead by holding their opponents to one point in the sixth and seventh end to win 7-3.

In bronze medal action, it was a much tenser affair between Finland and Latvia. Despite Latvia scoring four points early in the game, Finland battled back with a steal of two points in the seventh end when Latvia were light on a tap-back attempt. This levelled the game 5-5 playing the final end where Latvia skip Polina Rozkova drew to the four-foot against two Finnish stones to win the bronze medal game 6-5.

Latvian skip Rozkova shared her emotions on her final stone, “I’m feeling a little bit strange, because I made a few mistakes before, so with the last draw, I just did what I should. It was the second time in this tournament that I had to play a draw like that to win a game.”

She continued: “I think our game was a very interesting one to watch. There was all the time a lot of rocks in play. The beginning of the game was really tough.”

You can follow the build-up and results of the World Wheelchair Curling Championship on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and by searching the hashtags #WWhCC2019 #curling