Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Worlds Day 8 - Canada sweep to World title

Canada celebrates the defense of their World title
Photo: WCF/Pavla Hrbova

Gold - Canada 
Bruno Yizek, Sonja Gaudet, Ina Forrest, Darryl Neighbour,
Jim Armstrong (skip) and Coach Joe Rea
[Photo: WCF/Pavla Hrbova]

Silver - Scotland
Michael McKenzie, Angie Malone, Gregor Ewan, Tom Killin,
Aileen Nielson (skip) and Coach Sheila Swan
[Photo: WCF/Pavla Hrbova]

Bronze - Norway
Terge Rafdal, Runar Bjørnstad, Tone Edvarsen, Jostein Stordahl,
Rune Lorentsen skip,
Coach Thoralf Hognestad
Photo: WCF/Pavla Hrbova]

It was the return of the old guard as the podium places were decided on the final day of the World Championships in Prague. Since 2004 there have only been three winners at the World level of wheelchair curling**, and all three teams claimed the podium today as Canada won gold, Scotland silver and Norway bronze.

Defending champions Canada also set a record as the only team to go through a World event unbeaten.

Lorentsen and Stordahl discuss the situation playing Scotland
[Photo: WCF/Pavla Hrbova]
In the morning semi-final Scotland, who had beaten Norway 9-1 in round robin play, overwhelmed them 12-1, racing out to a 6-0 lead and sealing the win with a 4 in the 5th and a date with Canada in the afternoon's final.

Scotland * 3 2 1 0 4 2 x x - 12
Norway     0 0 0 1 0 0 x x - 1

It was the first time since Canada's nail biting last rock victory in 2006 that Canada and Scotland had met in the final of a World event, and it was a close game at the beginning. Canada opened with 2 with hammer, but Scotland took a single and a steal to tie. Canada regained the initiative with another 2 before the break, and then eased ahead with steals in ends 5 and 6 to win 7-3.

Scotland - 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 x - 3
Canada *   2 0 0 2 2 1 0 x - 7

Armstrong and Neighbour know they have the game in hand
[Photo: WCF/Pavla Hrbova]
“We got off to a good start,” said Canada skip Jim Armstrong. “We were very solid and the two girls [lead Sonja Gaudet and second Ina Forrest] at the front end absolutely set the bar for wheelchair curling. They made it really easy for me. I honestly never had a tough shot. In the round robin we were very close after five ends against Scotland, but sometimes you have to play a little more aggressively and we had to play hard to beat them.”

Skip Nielson (right) talks to her team
[Photo: WCF/Pavla Hrbova]
Scottish skip Aileen Nielson said the team was delighted with silver. “We knew we could come out here and give it our best shot. This is the first major championship that the five of us have played together. I think it’s obvious that we’ve really gelled. The guys have played great and given me great support on the ice and made my job easy.”

Norway had to overcome the disappointment of their semi-final thrashing by facing Russia for the bronze. Quite why the losing team in the 3 vs 4 game should get another chance at a medal eludes me, but this time justice prevailed as Norway beat Russia 8 - 3.

Russia's Alexander Shevchenko braced by Oxana Slesarenko
[Photo: WCF/Pavla Hrbova]
Russia started well, stealing 2 in the 1st end, but Norway posted the next seven points for a comfortable win.

Russia - 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 x - 3
Norway * 0 2 2 1 2 0 1 x - 8

Norway's Rune Lorentsen watched by Terge Rafdal and Tone Edvarsen
[Photo: WCF/Pavla Hrbova]

“I’m very satisfied,” said Norway's skip Rune Lorentsen. "We had a good start to the championship and went downhill in the middle. In the game against Scotland this morning I missed everything. It was a bad day at the office for me! But now I’m feeling much better.”

Russia join the medallists and China, Korea, USA and Sweden as automatic qualifiers for the 2012 World Championships in Chuncheon City, South Korea February 18 - 25, 2012. They will be joined by the top two teams competing at the Worlds Qualifying Tournament in Finland at the end of October. Only teams that compete in World Championships can earn points towards qualification at the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.

You can see the full schedule, results and tables in our Worlds 2011 section of the wheelchaircurling.com website.

Line scores of all the games are available HERE and large galleries of photos are available HERE

**Scotland won the Worlds in 2004 and 2005. Norway won the Worlds in 2007 and 2008. Canada won the Worlds in 2009 and 2011 and also the Paralympics in 2006 and 2010.


Tingmeso said...

Well done Team Canada. Setting a high standard for the world's wheelchair curlers.


Corinne said...

Congrats to Team Canada. I'm proud of your bench mark - unbeaten! It is one thing to win GOLD but to do it in such a fashion speaks..... no screams of the talent as a team and individually. Thank god for a solid front end hey boys! LMAO!! Cheers to the entire group there trainers/coaches and supporters