ECC 2013: Switzerland men win gold
November 30, 2013
Switzerland beat Norway 8-6 to win the men's gold medal final of Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2013 in Stavanger, Norway on Saturday afternoon.
This was the first gold medal for this Swiss team, consisting of Sven Michel (skip), Claudio Pätz (third), Benoit Schwarz (second), Simon Gempler (lead) and Sandro Trolliet (alternate).
Playing in front of a packed home crowd, Norway skip Thomas Ulsrud blanked the first end before opening the scoring with two points in the second end.
The Swiss showed they would be no pushovers however as Swiss skip Sven Michel scored three points in the third end.
Ulsrud drew into the house with his final stone of the fourth end to give Norway another two points, before Switzerland scored another point in the fifth end to level the score at 4-4.
Norway then blanked the next two ends but this tactic backfired in the eighth end when Ulsrud was heavy with his final draw to give up a steal of three points instead of the big score he was looking for.
Switzerland now held a 7-4 lead and after this Norway fought back with a nose-hit by Ulsrud in the ninth end to score two points and reduce the Swiss lead to 7-6.
The tenth end saw Michel left with a draw to anywhere in the house to take the title, which he did to the delight of the travelling Swiss fans, scoring one point to seal their 8-6 victory and the Championship title.
After the game, Michel said: "It's so exciting and it feels so great. We played so well and my team did such a good job. We took a time-out before the ninth end to talk about tactics. Our goal was to reach the play-offs and everything that came after was a bonus. It happened and everything is great."
Meanwhile Ulsrud was still thinking about his earlier mistakes. He said: "The eighth (end) was a really bad end for us." He continued: "We played great all week and it's been real fun to play in front of our home crowd. It's been a good experience for us."
While all of this was going on, Germany qualified for the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2014 in Saint John, Canada. They defeated Finland 6-3 in the final of their three game World Challenge series, which they won by two games to one.
The German team secured four successive steals in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth ends to see off their Finnish opponents.
Men’s Gold Medal Game:
Switzerland 8, Norway 6
Women’s World Challenge Game:
Finland 3, Germany 6 (Germany win series 1-2)
Final Men’s Standings:
1. Switzerland (Gold)*
2. Norway (Silver)*
3. Scotland (Bronze)*
7. Czech Republic*
8. Latvia (Lost World Challenge series 2-0 to Germany*)
9. France (Relegated to B-Group)
10. Finland (Relegated to B-Group)
*Qualified for World Men’s Curling Championship 2014
Final Women’s Standings:
1. Sweden (Gold)*
2. Scotland (Silver)*
3. Switzerland (Bronze)*
6. Czech Republic*
8. Germany* (Won World Challenge series against Finland)
9. Norway (Relegated to B-Group)
10. Italy (Relegated to B-Group)
*Qualified for Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2014
Watch highlights from all the action in Stavanger on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel - World Curling TV: http://www.youtube.com/user/WorldCurlingTV
Event Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EuropeanCurlingChampionships
Twitter Hashtags: #ecc2013 #curling
Of the 20 teams taking part in the ECC 2013 A Group event, almost half of them are set to compete at the curling competition at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games in February.
(DEN M&W, NOR M, SCO/GBR M&W, SWE M&W - officially declared by their National Olympic Committees to date). For more information about curling at the Olympics, visit the WCF’s official Olympic homepage: http://sochi2014.curlingevents.com/olympics
The final two men’s and women’s teams for Sochi will be decided at the inaugural WCF Olympic Qualification Event which will take place from 10-15 December 2014 in Füssen, Germany,. For more information about this event, visit: http://sochi2014.curlingevents.com/oqe