Switzerland defeat Canada to win gold

Switzerland, 2015 World Women's Curling Champions Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Switzerland beat Canada by 5-3 to win gold at the ZEN-NOH World Women's Curling Championship being held in the Tsukisamu Stadium in Sapporo, Japan.

Sunday afternoon played host to the third meeting of these two teams at this year’s Championship, with Switzerland having won both previous match-ups.

After blanking the first end, Switzerland's skip Alina Paetz was heavy with her final stone draw in the second end but managed to score one point rather than the two she was looking for.

The Swiss then doubled their lead in the third end when an umpire's measure gave them a single-point steal.

Canada blanked the next two ends and Switzerland still held a 2-0 lead as the teams played the sixth end.

Canada's skip Jennifer Jones then attempted to open her account with a single point, but she was heavy with her final draw and her stone sailed past two Swiss stones already in the house, giving Switzerland a steal of two points for a 4-0 lead.

Canada finally got on the board in the seventh end when Jones hit and stayed to score two points and reduce Switzerland's lead to 4-2.

The Canadians got another point back in the ninth end when Switzerland skip Alina Paetz's attempted double take-out nudged but failed to remove the second Canadian stone, giving Canada a single-point steal and closing Switzerland's lead to just 4-3.

In the tenth, end, Canada had three stones around the button but Paetz was able to draw her final stone inside them all to score one point, win the game by 5-3, and take Switzerland's second successive world title.

This was a first appearance at this level by this Swiss team, although their skip Alina Paetz had previously won the World Women’s Championship in 2012 as alternate for her now coach, Mirjam Ott.

Joining both skip Paetz and coach Ott on the podium this year was third Nadine Lehmann; second player Marisa Winkelhausen; lead Nicole Schwaegli and alternate Carole Howald – a gold medal winner at last year’s women’s world championship with fellow Swiss skip Binia Feltscher.

After her win, Paetz said: "This is our first time here and it's just amazing. It's a really, really great feeling. It's just awesome, I don't know what to say...so good."

She added: "I think both teams were nervous at the start of the game because both skips struggled a bit, but my team played great and it was easy for me at the end, that was the key".

Asked about Switzerland's ability to produce world title-winning teams following back to back world women’s championship wins, she said: "I don't think there is any secret ingredient. I think we have a lot of good teams in Switzerland and that helps all the other teams to become better." Thinking about reaction back home she added: "I don't think my family and friends back home will believe it, like me.”

Skip Jennifer Jones picked up the silver medals with her Canadian team of Olympic champions - third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer, lead Dawn McEwen and alternate Jennifer Clark-Rouire.

After the game she said: "We made a good game of it and she made a great shot to win the world title. We pushed them all the way, I wish we could start the game again, but that's the way it goes. We left it all on the ice and we can't ask any more than that. We're proud of our performance."

Earlier in the day Russia skip Anna Sidorova and her team of third Margarita Fomina, second Alexandra Saitova, lead Ekaterina Galkina and alternate Nkeiruka Ezekh had beaten Scotland by 13-4 to take the 2015 bronze medals.

During the closing ceremony it was announced that Sanna Puustinen, skip of Finland, was the winner of the Frances Brodie Award, voted for by all the players to recognise the player they think best exemplified curling's values and sportsmanship throughout the event.

Based on participation at the 2014 and/or 2015 women's world championships, 14 countries have now, at least, qualified for the Olympic Qualification Event in December 2017.

That event will see the last two men’s and two women’s teams, who haven’t earned enough Olympic qualification points at either the 2016 or 2017 World Men’s or Women’s Curling Championships, qualify for the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

They are: Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain (Scotland); Japan, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA, while Korea have already qualified as host.

The World Women’s rankings were also updated following this event which has seen Switzerland leapfrog Sweden into second position behind Canada. This is the first time that anyone other than Sweden and Canada has occupied one the two top spots on the women's rankings since the World Curling introduced them. Find out who has moved up and down the rankings here: http://www.worldcurling.org/rankings-men-and-women

RESULT
Gold medal game:
Canada 3, Switzerland 5.

Final Standings (W-L):
1. Switzerland (Gold)
2. Canada (Silver)
3. Russia (Bronze)
4. Scotland
5. China
6. Japan
7. Sweden
8. Denmark
9. Germany
10. USA
11. Finland
12. Norway

Video Highlights: Highlights from the Canada v Switzerland gold medal game are available to watch below courtesy of World Curling TV (WCTV), the television arm of the World Curling Federation.

In addition, curling fans around the world can watch full games and highlights from this event via the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

Social Media
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WorldWomensCurlingChampionship
Twitter: @worldcurling
Hashtags: #wwcc2015 #curling

Switzerland, World Women's Curling Champions 2015 Photo: WCF/Richard Gray
Canada, ZEN-NOH World Women's Curling Championship 2015 silver medallists Photo: WCF/Richard Gray
Russia, ZEN-NOH World Women's Curling Championship 2015 bronze medallists Photo: WCF/Richard Gray
Sanna Puustinen, ZEN-NOH World Women's Curling Championship 2015 Frances Brodie Award Winner Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

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