Russia win World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2020 title

Team Russia © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

In the gold medal game at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2020, Russia claimed the title after a 5-4 win against Canada.

Russia’s team is skipped by Konstantin Kurokhtin, vice-skip Andrei Meshcheriakov, second Vitaly Danilov and lead Daria Shchukina. The team is supported by alternate Anna Karpushina and coach Anton Batugin.

Canada, backed by skip and lead thrower Mark Ideson, fourth Jon Thurston, vice-skip Ina Forrest and second Dennis Thiessen secured the silver medals. Their alternate is Collinda Joseph and coach is Wayne Kiel.

Final stone game

In the opening end, Canada’s fourth thrower Jon Thurston executed a perfect double takeout to score two points. Russia responded in the second end with a nose hit for one point to make the score 2-1.

Canada then hit against two points in the third end for a single to go up 3-1. In the fourth end Russia made a nose takeout for a single point, making the score 3-2.

Canada scored one in the fifth end, after they were unable to draw their second stone closest to the button for two points to go up 4-2. The sixth end saw Russia draw to the eight-foot ring for a single point to narrow the gap, 4-3.

Canada © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

Canada’s Thurston had a chance to pick out the lone Russian stone in the rings for a score of two points, but flashed the hit and gave Russia a steal of one to make the game 4-4 playing the final end.

In the eighth end, Russia’s skip, Konstantin Kurokhtin, nestled his stone perfectly on the button between two Canadian stones, making Canada’s final shot difficult. Thurston attempted to tap back the Russian stone, but ticked off a guard, giving Russia the victory, 5-4.

“We are happy what can we say?!” Russia skip, Konstantin Kurokhtin said. “We wanted to win and each win helped us get more confident.”

“I perfected my shot and it was down to the Canadian fourth player [Jon Thurston]. The adrenaline was high for both of us and it kept me motivated and luckily for us, he just missed.”

Mark Ideson, Canadian skip, was satisfied with their silver finish, after emerging from the World Wheelchair B-Division. “Of course, we’re happy with the silver medal. We set out at the beginning of the week to make the play-offs and we hoped to get on the podium and we did that.”
“Russia played an excellent game, we just stayed in the game and everyone was playing well, but to lose, that’s curling. It was a game of inches and we lost by inches.”
Russia © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

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.


Gold medal game: Russia 5-4 Canada

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Wetzikon, Switzerland

7 March 2020