Switzerland defend their World Women’s title in Prince George

2022 World Women's champions, Switzerland © WCF / Jeffrey Au

Switzerland beat Korea by 7-6 in Sunday afternoon’s final of the BKT Tires & OK Tire World Women’s Curling Championship 2022, to complete their playing programme of 14 games unbeaten, take gold medals, and also the world crown.

This is the third successive world title for this Switzerland team: skip and third player Silvana Tirinzoni, fourth Alina Paetz, second player Esther Neuenschwander, lead Melanie Barbezat and alternate Carole Howald, supported by coach Pierre Charette. For both Paetz and Howald, it is a fifth world title in all.

After blanking the first end, Switzerland opened the scoring with three points in the second, when Paetz had an open draw into the house.

In the third end, Korea’s skip Kim EunJung was facing six Swiss counters when she came to play her last stone, and she managed to get inside them all, to open her team’s account with one point.

Switzerland versus Korea for the world title © WCF / Jeffrey Au

Switzerland scored one more in the fourth end for a 4-1 lead.

In the fifth end, Korea’s Kim EunJung had a draw for two points, to reduce her team’s deficit to a single point, going into the break.

Switzerland edged a little further ahead with one point in the sixth end, for a 5-3 lead.

However, in the seventh, Korea tied the game at 5-5 when Kim EunJung had another draw for two points.

In the eighth end, Switzerland’s Paetz had a draw to the button to score one point and re-take the lead, at 6-5.

Then, in the ninth, Kim EunJung once again played a draw and once again levelled the game, with a single point, at 6-6.

Both teams used their time-out in a cagey tenth end before Paetz had a straightforward double take-out to score one and win, by 7-6.

Switzerland’s Melanie Barbezat © WCF / Jeffrey Au

After the game, Switzerland skip Silvana Tirinzoni said, “It’s amazing — I cannot get tired of being called world champion. I’m so proud of the team. I don’t have any words. After the Olympics and the nationals, I thought we’d be a little tired, but they performed amazing, and I didn’t expect that.”

And, reflecting on her team’s new three-in-a-row record, she said, “To win three world championships is just great, and to do three in a row is fantastic.”

Meanwhile, to add to her accolades, Switzerland’s fourth player Alina Paetz was announced as the winner of the Frances Brodie Award, for the second year in succession.

This award recipient is selected by the curlers participating in the event, to honour the curler who, “by deed and action in the course of their performance, best exemplify the traditional curling values of skill, honesty, fair play, friendship and sportsmanship.”

Chief umpire Dianne Barker and Frances Brodie Award winner Alina Paetz © WCF / Jeffrey Au

The silver medallist Korean team are: skip Kim EunJung, third Kim KyeongAe, second Kim ChoHi, lead Kim SeonYeong, alternate Kim YeongMi, supported by coach Lim MyungSup. This silver medal was the best-ever performance by Korea at this level.

Afterwards, skip Kim EunJung said, “We gave up three points early on and we were playing catch-up after that. We did catch-up though, and I’m so proud of how we played today. I’m very proud to be a silver medallist, and I’m very proud to have played at such a high level.”

During the fifth-end break of the game, WCF President Kate Caithness inducted Bernie Sparkes into the WCF Hall of Fame. Inducted as an athlete, Sparkes, one of Canada’s premier curlers, is a three-time world champion.

WCF Hall of Fame inductee, Bernie Sparkes © WCF / Jeffrey Au

Gold medal game result: Switzerland 7-6 Korea

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Prince George, Canada

28 March 2022
#WWCC2022