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Canada captures double gold at World Seniors Championships

Team Canada swept an historic World Seniors hosted in New Zealand Photo by Leslie Ingram-Brown

Canada scored double gold for the second year in a row at the 2009 World Senior Curling Championships.

Canada’s Pat Sanders thrashed Switzerland’s Renate Nedkoff 10-1 to win the women’s championship. The Canadians, from Victoria, British Columbia, scored four in the first end and then added five additional stolen points over the next three ends to overwhelm the Swiss.

In the men’s final, Canada’s Eugene Hritzuk and his foursome from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan faced a strong challenge from the United States, skipped by Paul Pustovar.

The Americans took one in the first end and then stole the third for a 2-0 lead. The Canadians replied with a single in the fourth end but then wrestled steals in both the fifth and sixth frames for a 3-2 lead.

With the score tied coming home, Hritzuk made an open takeout for one and a narrow 4-3 victory.

“It was quite a ride here this week,” said Hritzuk.

“I’d have to say if you were a fan you’d have to enjoy that game. Momentum swings, some steals, a comeback, and then tied up coming home and having to make the last shot to win.

“It’s great for fans.”

Both Canadian teams went undefeated, with the men finishing 7-0 and the women setting a 9-0 mark.

Sanders, who captured the 1987 world women’s title, was supported by Cheryl Noble, Roselyn Craig and Christine Jurgenson. It was Canada’s second straight senior women’s title after Diane Foster’s win at Vierumaki, Finland in 2008.

Hritzuk, who finished second to 2008 world senior men’s champion Pat Ryan back in the 1988 Canadian men’s championship, was supported by Kevin Kalthoff, Verne Anderson and Dave Folk.

Pustovar, a former U.S. men’s champion, was skipping the 2006 world senior silver medal squad led by Brian Simonson, who now plays third.

Switzerland’s Nedkoff won world senior bronze in 2008.

Sanders defeated Sweden’s Ingrid Meldahl, the 2007 world champion, by an 8-4 count in one semifinal while the Swiss upended Scotland’s Marion Craig 7-6 in the other semi. Sweden defeated Scotland by a 6-2 count to win the bronze medal.

Hritzuk scored a narrow 8-7 win over Switzerland’s Andre Pauli in one men’s semifinal, while Pustovar took out 2007 world senior champion Keith Prentice of Scotland 6-5 in the other semi. The Americans took two in the eighth end and then stole the extra end for the victory.

Scotland went on to thump the Swiss 9-3 for the men’s bronze medal.
The 2009 World Seniors marked the first world curling championship to be hosted in the Southern Hemisphere.

Curling will return to the country in August, at Naseby, as part of “Winter Games NZ”.

The pre-Olympic winter sport event will feature 800 of the athletes competing in 26 snow and ice sports disciplines over 10 days.

Archived scoring from the event can be found online at: http://2009nzwscc.co.nz
with results mirrored at the WCF Results website at: http://results.worldcurling.org

The 2009 World Seniors is the first world curling championship to be hosted in the Southern Hemisphere.

Curling will return to the country in August, at Naseby, as part of “Winter Games NZ”.

The pre-Olympic winter sport event will feature 800 of the athletes competing in 26 snow and ice sports disciplines over 10 days.

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