Switzerland and Sweden to compete for Le Gruyère AOP European gold

  • Sweden win and will compete for gold © WCF / Stephen Fisher

Olympic champions Sweden will face Switzerland – unbeaten so far in this event – in Saturday’s women’s final of the Le Gruyere AOP European Championships, in Tallinn, Estonia.

To reach the final, Sweden beat Russia by 7-4 while Switzerland were 6-4 winners over Germany. Russia and Germany will now play for bronze medals this evening.

Having battled sickness in the team all week, Sweden finished second on the rankings behind Switzerland but ahead of third-placed Russia. And it was the Swedes who took the early advantage. In the second end, their skip Anna Hasselborg played a nose-hit and stay to remove a Russian stone sitting in the house, adding her own stone to the three Swedish stones already in the house to open the scoring with four points.

In the third end Russia responded when their skip Alina Kovaleva drew her final stone of the end into the house to score one point and reduce Sweden’s lead to 4-1.

Russia never recovered from that second-end loss and in the eighth end, Sweden’s Hasselborg played a hit on a Russia stone again, this time scoring one point to extend her team’s lead to 7-3. Sweden went on to win by 7-4 and will now play in their third successive final, looking to improve on the two silver medals they have already won.

After this win, Sweden’s Hasselborg said, “that was a really good game. Today we came out strong, we had hammer and we took advantage of that, so I’m happy with the team’s performance. It’s huge to get a four up on the board that early, but we’re playing the five-rock rule, so you still need to be really focussed and play every shot because there’s you know there’s a two coming at you very soon.”

Asked how she would try to turn two silvers into gold, she said, “they’ve all been tough finals that we’ve played, and we’re going to play a really tough team now. So, we’re just going to focus on our own game and play strong - that’s all you can control.”

In the other semi-final, Germany, who finished fourth in the round-robin rankings, faced table-toppers Switzerland, who had won all their round-robin games

Switzerland held a 3-2 lead at the fifth-end break and they built on this in the sixth end when Alina Paetz, their fourth player, drew her second stone into the house to score two points and extend her team’s lead to 5-2.

In the eighth end, Switzerland’s Paetz played a hit with her last stone to add one more point to her team’s score and lead by 6-3.

In the ninth end, Germany’s skip Daniela Jentsch could only score one point with her final draw and this reduced Switzerland’s lead to 6-4. After this, Germany conceded at 4-6 in the tenth end and this put a celebrating Switzerland into their nation’s first European final since 2014.

After this game, Switzerland skip Silvana Tirinzoni [pictured below © WCF / Stephen Fisher] said, “we were a little shaky for the whole game, so not as confident as we’ve been playing this week. But after the fifth-end break we gained some confidence and it was easier in the second half.”

She added, “it sounds amazing to be in the final. It’s an honour to be the skip of such a great team. We have so much fun off the ice too – I couldn’t be more proud of the team right now.”

Women’s semi-finals results: Germany 4-6 Switzerland; Sweden 7-4 Russia

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