WWCC 2013: Scotland win gold

Scotland, World Women's Curling Champions 2013 Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Scotland beat Sweden by 6-5 in an exciting gold medal final on Sunday afternoon at the Titlis Glacier Mountain World Women's Curling Championship to take the world crown.

Sweden started with last stone advantage and used it to blank the first end before successfully taking two points in the second end when their fourth player Maria Prytz had a nose-hit.

The Scots opened their account in the third end when their skip, Eve Muirhead, tapped up one of her own stones just inside the Swedish stone that had been lying shot. The Scots then made a break-through in the fourth end when Prytz’s last stone touched a guard to leave two Scottish stones intact in the house for a steal of two points and a 4-3 lead.

The teams then traded singles all the way through the rest of the game. In the fifth end, Prytz had to draw to the four foot ring to score one point and in the sixth end Muirhead was forced to draw for one point.

Sweden were denied a score of two points in the seventh end by the umpire's measure and, in the eighth end, when she was trying to draw in to score two points, Muirhead's last stone touched a guard and she had to settle for just one point again.

In the ninth end, Scotland once again prevented Sweden from building anything and again Prytz had to settle for a draw for a single point. In the tenthend, Muirhead was able to pick out the Swedish stone that lay counting leaving her own near it to count for the one point that handed her the title with a 6-5 win.

This result means that Eve Muirhead and her squad - third Anna Sloan, second Vicki Adams, lead Claire Hamilton, supported by alternate Lauren Gray and coach David Hay - become only the second Scottish female team to be crowned world champions, following the 2002 success by Jackie Lockhart's team.

Afterwards, a delighted Muirhead said: "It's still not sunk in. The girls played great out there today. To come out on the top is an unbelievable feeling, especially for myself, getting that silver medal in 2010 and silver at the Europeans this year. To top our season off by becoming world champions just feels great."

About the game itself, Muirhead said: "We knew it was going to be a close game and we knew it could well come down to last end, last stone. We were ready for that. We played a great last end there, Anna played that great double-rip that locked it up for us and left me a pretty simple shot."

Margaretha Sigfridsson, who skips and plays lead stones for Sweden, along with fourth player Maria Prytz, third Christina Bertrup, second Maria Wennerström and supported by alternate Agnes Knochenhauer, picked up the silver medals.

Afterwards, the Swedish skip was completely gracious in defeat. She said: "Of course it's sad. We've had a really good week but unfortunately we weren't sharp enough today. We played a very good game but Eve was a little bit better than us today. Eve had a really good week too."

During the closing ceremony, Germany's lead Corinna Scholz was declared the winner of the Frances Brodie Award for the player, voted for by all competitors, who best exemplified the spirit of curling throughout the Championship.

With this event now complete, eight of the ten nations that will be able to send women’s team to take part in next year's Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia have been decided. Russia will be there as hosts and other qualification was based on points gathered in the 2012 and 2013 World Women’s Curling Championships.

With that process complete, the seven countries who have qualified are:
Sweden (12 points in 2012; 12 points in 2013: total 24)
Switzerland (14*plus*8: 22)
Scotland (whose points are allocated to Great Britain for Olympic purposes) (7 14: 21) Canada (10 10: 20)
USA (8 9: 17)
Denmark (5 5: 10)
Korea (9 0: 9)

The nations that are now eligible to take part in the new World Curling Federation Olympic Qualification event in December are: Germany, Japan, China, Italy, Latvia, Czech Republic and Norway.

The new WCF Olympic Qualifying Event will be staged between 11-15 December 2013, at a location yet to be announced. Two nations will qualify from the event in both men’s and women’s disciplines to complete the Olympic fields of 10 teams. National Olympic Committees are required to endorse team entry for this event by the end of May 2013. On confirmation of the number of competing teams, the competition format will be made public by the WCF at the start of June 2013.

For more information about Olympic Qualification, visit: http://www.worldcurling.org/olympic-qualification

Titlis Glacier Mountain World Women’s Curling Championship 2013 Final Standings:
1. Scotland (Gold)
2. Sweden (Silver)
3. Canada (Bronze)
4. USA
5. Switzerland
6. Russia
7. Japan
8. Denmark
9. China
10. Italy
11. Germany
12. Latvia

Curling fans around the world will be able to watch selected highlights of the event via the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

Event Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/WorldWomensCurlingChampionship
Event Twitter Hashtags: #wwcc2013 #curling

The Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2014 will take place in St John, New Brunswick, Canada from 15-23 March in the Harbour Station – the same venue as the 1999 World Championships.

Sweden, silver medallists

Canada, bronze medallists

Francis Brodie Award Winner, Germany's Corinna Scholz (right) with Chief Umpire Maria Davidson

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