Switzerland women crowned European Champions 2014

Switzerland, European Women's Curling Champions 2014 Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Switzerland women added the European crown to their World title when they beat Russia by 8-7 in Saturday morning's gold medal game at the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2014 being held in the Palladium de Champéry in Champéry, Switzerland.

The Swiss team - skip Binia Feltscher, third Irene Schori, second player Franziska Kaufmann and lead Christine Urech - supported by alternate Carole Howald and coach Al Moore, played in front of a packed house full of noisy Swiss supporters.

The game stayed close for the first four ends and, with the score at 2-1 to Switzerland, Russia skip Anna Sidorova made the first break-through in the fifth end when she tapped out a Swiss stone in the house to score two points and take a 3-2 lead.

Switzerland responded in the next end when Feltscher's draw with her final stone scored two points to give her team a 4-3 lead.

Russia could only score one point in the seventh end to level the score at 4-4 when Sidorova rolled out after a hit, but the real turning point came in the eighth end.

With her last stone of the end, Sidorova wrecked on a front guard, leaving Feltscher an open draw with her last to score four points from the end and lead by 8-4.

Russia nearly scored three points in the ninth end but Sidorova's stone rolled too far to give them just two points.

In the tenth end, Feltscher tapped out one of two Russian stones in the house, to give Russia a steal of one point but this was not enough for Russia as Switzerland won the game by 8-7.

This is only the fifth time in history that a women’s curling team has held both the World Championship and European Championship titles in the same year.

Other skips to have won both Championships in the same calendar year include Sweden’s Anette Norberg in 2005 and Elisabet Gustafson in 1992, Norway’s Dordi Nordby in 1990 and Switzerland’s Gaby Casanova in 1979.

After her triumph, Switzerland skip Binia Feltscher said: "It’s incredible to be the World Champion and the European Champion all in the same year. The game was perfect for us. We didn’t make too many mistakes and the ones that we did make were very small. After we got the four points in the eighth end, we made sure we stayed focused because the game is only over after 10 ends."

Trying to sum up her feelings she added: "To win the World Championship in Canada was very, very nice, but to win the European championship here in Switzerland is the greatest."

Losing skip Sidorova was gracious in her response. She said: "I'm disappointed about silver medals but I must say congratulations to the Swiss team - they deserved to win and played better today. It's probably more pleasurable that they did it at home. My team played very well and I'm proud to play with these girls. We're still young but we will have more time to be better than we were this week."

Picking up the silver medals along with skip Anna Sidorova was third Margarita Fomina, second Alexandra Saitova, lead Ekaterina Galkina and they were supported by alternate Ezekh Nkeiruka and coach Svetlana Kalalb.

In the men’s World Challenge, Finland qualified for the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2015 as they defeated Germany 8-7 after an extra end to win their best of three games series 2-0.

In the women’s best of three games World Challenge series, both Estonia and Norway are tied 1-1 after Norway won their second game of the series 8-3 after nine ends.

This means that they will have to play a third and final game which will decide the last European zone qualifier for the World Women’s Curling Championship 2015.

The A Division men’s gold medal game begins at 15:00 local time (CET) on Saturday afternoon in the Palladium de Champéry.

The third of the three World Challenge series games for the women begins at 14:00, also on Saturday afternoon in Monthey Skating Rink.


Women’s Gold Medal Game: Russia 7, Switzerland 8.

World Challenge Series:
Germany 7, Finland 8 (Finland win series 2-0).
Women: Norway 8, Estonia 3 (Teams tied in series 1-1).

Men (after bronze medal games):
Sweden* 10-0 (to play Norway in gold medal game)
Norway* 8-4 (to play Sweden in gold medal game)
3. Switzerland* 7-4 (Bronze)
4. Italy* 7-5
5. Czech Republic* 5-5
6. Russia* 5-4
7. Scotland* 4-6
8. Germany 3-7 (Lost best of three games World Challenge series 2-0 against Finland*)
9. Denmark 1-8 (relegated to B Division)
10. Latvia 1-8 (relegated to B Division)

*Qualified for Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2015

Women (Final Standings):
1. Switzerland** 8-3 (Gold)
2. Russia** 10-2 (Silver)
3. Scotland** 7-4 (Bronze)
4. Denmark** 7-5
5. Sweden** 5-4
6. Finland** 5-4
7. Germany** 4-5
8. Estonia 4-7 (Tied best of three games World Challenge series 1-1 with Norway)
9. Latvia 1-8 (relegated to B Division)
10. Czech Republic 1-8 (relegated to B Division)
**Qualified for World Women’s Curling Championship 2015

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