Switzerland men win gold
March 5, 2014
Switzerland men took the gold medals by beating defending champions Scotland by 6-5 in Wednesday afternoon's gold medal game at the World Junior Curling Championships in Flims, Switzerland.
That result meant that Scotland picked up the silver medals while Norway beat Canada by 7-5 to take bronze.
The gold medal winning Swiss team, led by skip Yannick Schwaller who played third stones, consisted of fourth player Reto Keller, second player Patrick Witschonke and lead Michael Probst. They were supported by alternate Romano Meier, who played a number of games throughout the week, including the final, and they were coached by Erich Nyffenegger.
Switzerland successfully completed a campaign that saw them win their last six games, including a tie-breaker against Italy that put them into the Page play-off stages in the first place.
In the gold medal game, Scotland had last stone advantage in the first end and opened the scoring with a single point.
Switzerland responded by scoring two points in the second end for a 2-1 lead, and then built on that in the third end when Scotland were short with their final draw to give up a single-point steal and push the Swiss lead to 3-1.
Solid Swiss tactics in the fourth end then forced Scottish skip Kyle Smith to draw for just one point in the fourth end, and this reduced Switzerland's lead to 3-2.
However, the Swiss increased their led in the fifth end when Switzerland's fourth player Reto Keller tapped out a Scottish stone to score two points and take a 5-2 lead.
In the sixth end, Scotland's skip Kyle Smith was just too thin on a double take-out attempt with his final stone, leaving one Swiss stone in the house, rather than removing it, to give Switzerland a steal of one point and a lead of 6-2.
In the seventh end Scotland were looking for a big score to bring themselves back into the game, but eventually their skip Smith was forced to draw for one and reduce the Swiss lead by one point, to 6-3.
Switzerland then blanked the eighth end and, in a dramatic ninth end, Switzerland's fourth player Reto Keller had a complete miss with his last stone to give Scotland a steal of one point that reduced the Swiss lead to 6-4.
In the tenth end, Keller made amends when he took out one of two Scottish stones in the house, which made it mathematically impossible for Scotland to win, giving his team a 6-5 victory and the first Swiss World Junior title since 2010, also in Flims, when Peter de Cruz won for the hosts.
Afterwards, Switzerland skip Yannick Schwaller said: "Oh man, it's crazy - I can't say what this means for us - I don't have words for that! We played very well, with concentration - now we are world champions! It was a great match."
Meanwhile, Scottish skip Kyle Smith said: "We didn't play our best by any means. You can't take anything from them, they played very well."
In the bronze game, Norway started with last stone advantage and, after blanking the first end, scored two points in the second end before stealing a further two points in the third end for a 4-0 lead.
This left Canada with a mountain to climb but they eventually levelled the game at 5-5 with a steal of two points in the ninth end.
However, Norway were able to see the game out, and scored two more points in the tenth end for their 7-5 win and the bronze medals.
After the game, Norway skip Eirik Mjoeen said: “It feels great. It was my goal to get a medal as skip. We played great all week. We were hoping to get to the final but there were some really tough opponents here. It was my teammates who won that game. I fell down a little bit today and yesterday. I was getting really nervous at the end there, suddenly."
During the closing ceremony, the winners of the WCF Sportsmanship Awards were announced.
These Awards are made every year, with the players voting for a fellow competitor who "best exemplifies the traditional values of skill, honesty, fair play, sportsmanship and friendship" during the event.
The host of the World Junior Curling Championships 2015 has still to be confirmed by the World Curling Federation. To find out first where next year’s event will be, follow the World Curling Federation on Facebook and keep checking the official website.
Men’s Medal Games
Gold: Switzerland 6, Scotland 5.
Bronze: Norway 7, Canada 5.
Men’s final standings:
1. Switzerland (Gold)
2. Scotland (Silver)
3. Norway (Bronze)
Curling fans around the world are able to follow the coverage of the Championships on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV
Twitter: @worldcurling and @WCFMedia
Twitter Hashtags: #WJCC2014 #curling