International Sport

Canada Takes Curling Title

Hosts Canada won the 2017 Men’s Curling World Championship trophy on Sunday (April 9) at the end of a dominant performance that saw them undefeated.

Canada, with skip, Brad Gushue, ended the round-robin stage of the week-long championship in Edmonton with a 11-0 record. They are now qualified, along with seven other countries, for the 2018 winter Olympic Games.

Under the Page play-off system used at the championships, Canada then played, and beat, second-placed Sweden, in the first play-off to guarantee their place in the final.

Loser Sweden then played, and beat, Switzerland on Saturday (April 8) for the right to meet Canada again in Sunday’s final.

In the final there were four blank ends, and Canada were relieved to make a break-through late in the game to win 4-2.

The third end, with Canada 1-0 up, saw Sweden skip Niklas Edin forced to draw for one and level the score at 1-1.

Edin drew his last stone just short of the button in the fourth, giving Canada’s Gushue a difficult tap-back to play.

Gushue’s shooter rolled on while the target Swedish stone jammed, giving Canada just one point from the end instead of the two they wanted, but they still led 2-1.

Sweden had built up the fifth end but a good double take-out by Gushue with his first stone left Canada lying two.

Edin was still facing three Canadian counters when he came to play his last. He hit and stayed to score one point and level the score again at 2-2.

Canada finally made the break-through they needed in the ninth end when Gushue drew his last stone into the house to score two points and take a 4-2 lead.

A cross-house double by Gushue in the tenth took away Sweden’s chance to score two points.

When Gushue knocked out the last remaining Swedish stone with his second shot, Sweden conceded with the final score at 4-2.

A jubilant Canada team celebrated in front of their excited home fans, before receiving their gold medals. Sweden won silver and Switzerland, having beaten USA for the second time in their play-off, took the bronze medals.

Canada, Great Britain (qualified as Scotland), Japan, hosts Korea, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and USA have all qualified for the men’s curling event at the 2018 winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, having amassed qualification points in a series of events, including Edmonton.

China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Russia will compete in December for the remaining two berths at the Games in South Korea.

The final qualifying event will be held in Pilsen, Czech Republic between 5 and 10 December 2017.

Source: Reuters

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