Switzerland win world bronze medals © WCF / Jeffrey Au

Switzerland win Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s 2019 bronze medals

Switzerland beat Japan by 8-4 in Sunday afternoon’s bronze medal decider at the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019 in the ENMAX Centre, in Lethbridge, Canada.

This is a third bronze medal for this Swiss team – skip and second player Peter de Cruz, fourth player Benoit Schwarz, third Sven Michel, and lead Valentin Tanner, supported by alternate Claudio Paetz and coach Thomas Lips with their previous medal successes coming in 2014 and 2017.

After the game opened with two blank ends, Switzerland scored one point in the third end when their fourth player Benoit Schwarz played a nose-hit on a Japan stone.

In the fourth end, Japan’s skip Yuta Matsumura played a gentle tap-back off one of his own stones onto the button, to score three points and take a 3-1 lead.

Then, in the fifth end, Schwarz’s draw attempt was wide, meaning that Switzerland could only score one point to reduce Japan’s lead to 3-2.

Japan then increased their lead in the sixth end when Matsumura cleared out two Swiss stones, leaving another one of his own stones in position to score one for a 4-2 lead.

The seventh end saw the game turn in Switzerland’s favour when Schwarz played an angle tap-back double take-out to score four points and give Switzerland the lead, at 6-4.

Then, in the eighth end, Japan’s Matsumura’s attempt to come in off a corner guard could only take out one of two Swiss stones, giving Switzerland a steal of one point to stretch their lead to 7-4.

In the ninth end, Matsumura’s last stone rolled too far after a hit to give Switzerland another single point steal. Japan then conceded, with the score at 8-4 to Switzerland.

After the game Switzerland skip Peter de Cruz said, “We have mixed feelings. We had a bit of a rough start because we were still on yesterday’s game. Even this morning, we were still talking about the semi-final. We’re disappointed about that, but we’re happy to go home with medals round our necks.”

He took the time to praise his opponents too, saying, “I feel for Japan, they had such a good game, one bad end and everything changes. In that end we knew we had a chance for three or four and we just were able to force them into some errors and we capitalised. Benoit came up trumps, he always does in such moments.”

More generally he wistfully added, “This is our third bronze at Worlds. We have two in the Europeans and one in the Olympics now, so we’re kind of sick of bronze medals, but we’re still happy. But we wish we could play in that gold medal game.”

Meanwhile this was a second world championship fourth placed finish for Japan, with third player Testuro Shimizu competing in both.

Result: Japan 4-8 Switzerland.

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

Lethbridge, Canada

7 April 2019