WJCC 2013: Scotland men win gold, Russia silver, Canada bronze
March 10, 2013
Scotland won the gold medals in Sunday morning's final of the World Junior Curling Championships in Sochi, Russia, beating the host nation by 6-2, while Canada took bronze medals with their 6-4 win over Sweden.
This was the first-ever appearance by a Russian team in a junior world final. They had fought hard to reach this far, coming from behind to beat Canada by 11-8 in the extra end of the semi-final, and inflicting the only loss Scotland were to suffer throughout the event, when they won their round-robin match-up by 5-4.
But this time, Russia faced a Scotland team that was determined and at the top of their form.
With last stone advantage, because they had topped the rankings, the Scots blanked the first end and then took the early lead in the second end, scoring two points when skip, Kyle Smith, delivered a perfect nose-hit.
Russia then blanked the third end, but Scotland stole a further point in the fourth end when Smith drew nicely behind two front guards with his first stone and the Russians failed to remove it. The Scots added another single steal of one point in the fifth end when Russian skip, Evgeniy Arkhipov, attempted a bold double take-out and missed the second Scottish stone, giving Scotland a 4-0 half-time lead.
Russia blanked the sixth end, but gave up another single steal in the seventh end when Arkhipov's attempt to clear out the house left one Scottish stone counting.
The Russians finally got on the scoreboard in the eighth end when Arkhipov played a good hit and stay at the back of the house for two points.
By this time, the Scots were keeping everything clear and eventually, Smith had another nose-hit to score one point in the ninth end for a 6-2 lead. With his first stone of the final end, Smith cleared the house and ran Russia out of stones, to start the celebrations for the Scotland team - skip Kyle Smith, third Thomas Muirhead, second Kyle Waddell, lead Cameron Smith, and their fifth player Hammy McMillan, as well as coach David Ramsay.
Afterwards, Scottish skip Smith said: "I'm speechless! I don't know what to say. I just feel fantastic. We've just had a really good week and a good year."
Speaking about his approach to the game, Smith added: "I was a wee bit nervous, but that's only natural. We just played everything we could, we just didn't give them much of a chance. They played well but we got our two for the lead and that just settled the nerves a bit, and we just made a lot of shots from there."
Smith led this team to bronze last year and was visibly disappointed then. About that, he said simply: "We've got the colour of the medal right this year."
Russia's silver medal was a little piece of curling history, but skip, Evgeniy Arkhipov, was not thinking about that immediately after the game, as he explained: "It wasn't a good game from the beginning. We were trying to get something started but it just didn't happen. We've been preparing a lot for this tournament and we wanted gold, but we ended with silver. I won't be playing next year because I'll be too old, but I really hope the rest of the team will succeed next year."
In the bronze medal game, Canada blanked the first end and then scored three points in the second end, and were never headed after that.
After blanking the third end, the Swedes responded with two points in the fourth end, but after that the Teams swapped singles all the way to the ninth end, when, with the score at 5-4 in their favour, Canada blanked again.
In the tenth end, Canada's third player, Colton Lott, played a good double take-out that cleared out Swedish stones in the house and laid the foundation for a further single point for Canada, their 6-4 win and the bronze medals.
The Canadian team was among the youngest taking part, and afterwards skip Matt Dunstone said: "Age doesn't matter. We just go out and play our best. Obviously whenever you finish a tournament off with a win it's a very good thing. We're going home with a medal for Canada and that's an unbelievable feeling," adding: "Whatever happens will happen, but being able to win bronze at this age along with my whole team - we're a young team - we hope to be back next year and hopefully do what Kyle Smith did."
Meanwhile defeated Swedish skip Sweden skip, Gustav Eskilsson, said: “Both games in the play-offs we didn’t come up to the standard we wanted in our game. We just weren’t good enough. They scored three points in the second end but we picked up two in the fourth but they still had a lot of chances - they were better than us. We’re proud of ourselves for getting to the play-offs but throughout the whole week we weren’t good enough."
Men’s Gold Medal Game: Scotland 6, Russia 2
Men’s Bronze Medal Game: Sweden 4, Canada 6
Men’s Final Standings:
1. Scotland won 10, lost 1 (Gold)
2. Russia 9-3 (Silver)
3. Canada 8-4 (Bronze)
4. Sweden 6-5
5. Norway 5-4
6. Italy 5-4
7. USA 4-5
8. Switzerland 2-7
9. China 1-8
10. Czech Republic 0-9 (Relegated to European Junior Curling Challenge)
Curling fans around the world will be able to follow live coverage of the event on the event website http://wjcc2013.curlingevents.com and the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel World Curling TV.
The live coverage schedule is available along with news, Live Scores, shot by shot and Galleries on the event website: http://wjcc2013.curlingevents.com
World Junior Curling Championships Facebook Page: Hit ‘like’ to keep updated: http://www.facebook.com/WorldJuniorCurlingChampionships
Twitter hashtag for the event: #wjcc2013
The World Junior Curling Championships 2014 will take place in Flims, Switzerland, from 26 February to 5 March 2014 in the Waldhaus Curling Arena.