Russia women defeat Canada for World Junior gold

  • Russia women win World Junior title © WCF / Richard Gray

It went all the way to an extra end, but with a single stolen point, Russia claimed the women’s gold medals, beating Canada by 8-7 in Saturday (23 February) afternoon’s women’s final of the World Junior Championships in Liverpool, Canada.

In the bronze medal game, Switzerland beat China by 6-4.

In the gold medal final, Canada opened with last stone advantage and blanked the first end. That tactic paid off in the second end when their skip Selena Sturmay was able to draw into an empty house to open the scoring with two points.

After this, the teams swapped single-point scores in the next two ends. Then, in the fifth end Russia was able to draw for two points to put the teams level at 3-3.

Russia - skip Vlada Rumiantseva, third Daria Morozova, second Irina Riazanova, and lead Vera Tiuliakova, supported by alternate Anastasia Mishchenko and coach Andrey Drozdov –took the lead for the first time at 4-3 with a single point steal in the sixth end when Sturmay hit and rolled out with her last stone.

In the ninth end, it looked like Canada – led by skip Selena Sturmay, with third Abby Marks, second Kate Goodhelpsen and lead Paige Papley, supported by alternate Karlee Burgess and coach Amanda-Dawn St. Laurent - had a break-through when Rumiantseva was heavy on her last draw, giving Canada an open draw for three points and a 7-5 lead.

However, in the tenth end, the Russians scored the two points they needed to level the game at 7-7. The extra end came down to a final draw for Sturmay and when she was heavy, Russia claimed victory and the world title.

After the game, Russia’s skip Rumiantseva said, “we were nervous in the final and we think the perfect draw weight was necessary for our win. But we’re so happy to be world champions and it feels fantastic!”

Meanwhile Canada’s Sturmay said, “honestly, we’re all a little bit disappointed. It wasn’t our best game out there, but I’m really proud of the girls for sticking in, I suppose all you can ask for is a close game. I felt we had a really good chance going into the extra. It was unlucky, but that’s the way curling goes.”

The bronze medal game was also a tight affair, with no more than one point separating the teams throughout as they swapped single-point scores all the way to the tenth end.

In that end, China’s fourth player Yu Han was heavy with her final draw, giving up a steal of two and the bronze medals to Switzerland. The Swiss, backed by fourth player Selina Witschonke, third and skip Raphaela Keiser, second Laura Engler, and lead Vanessa Tonoli, supported by alternate Nehla Meier and coach Stephan Keiser.

After her bronze medal win, skip Keiser said, “it feels great. Our goal this week was to bring home a medal and we did that. We could have made the final, but we are happy and satisfied with the bronze medal.” And speaking about the game, she added, “I knew we had to be patient because they are a strong team.”

The Sportsmanship Awards, which are voted on by the players, for the curlers who best exemplify the spirt of curling were awarded to Germany men’s second player Joshua Sutor and Sweden women’s lead Maria Larsson.

Results :

Gold: Canada 7-8 Russia

Bronze: Switzerland 6-4 China

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