Sweden claim bronze at World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2020

Sweden celebrate their bronze medal win © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

After a defensive game by both sides, Sweden won the bronze medals at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2020, 5-2, against China in Wetzikon, Switzerland.

The Swedish team, which consists of skip Viljo Petersson-Dahl, vice-skip and lead thrower Kristina Ulander, third Mats-Ola Engborg and second Ronny Persson stole three points in an extra end to claim the victory.

Four blank ends

The game opened with two blanked ends by China, until they were forced to a single point in the third end. Sweden then took their turn to blank two ends, and hit for a single point in the sixth end to level the game 1-1.

In the seventh end China opted to draw to an open house for their single point, rather than blanking the end, to take a 2-1 lead heading into the eighth end. Sweden drew to the twelve-foot ring in the eighth end for one point and forced an extra end.

Team China © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

Swedish second, Ronny Persson commented on this, “I feel like it’s their game plan to take the point which I don’t understand because the advantage is with the hammer. I’m a little surprised that they took the point and put us in the driver’s seat for the eighth end.”

In the extra end, Sweden put the pressure on, sitting two stones on the button ahead of China’s final throw. When China skip, Wang Haitao, over-curled his hit to win, Sweden stole three points and the win, 5-2.

Ronny Persson © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

“I’m speechless right now because it’s been a long journey”, said Persson. “We’ve been trying to get out of the B-Division since 2015 and the machinery has not been how we’ve wanted it to be. We came in as an underdog and I’m so pleased at how we handled the situation today. We had the patience to not rush in the game even though there was only one point scored in the game at end six.”

“We have been working hard on that mentally and we train a lot in the gym to have the energy to keep it through the ninth end and the last stone. I must say, this is even harder if you think about yesterday’s game and that we lost it within an inch on the last stone that also went to an extra end. To be able to do it again today and to keep it together, that impresses me that the team did that in a short period of time.”

Paralympic qualification

The World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2020 will be the second year that Paralympic Qualification Points can be earned for the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2020. Hosts China, and the 11 National Olympic Committees – or World Curling Member Associations – with the most points after 2021 will qualify for the Games. More information on the qualification process can be found here.

Results

Bronze medal game: China 2-5 Sweden

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Wetzikon, Switzerland

7 March 2020