Italy and Switzerland to play for Gold - Sweden and Canada play for Bronze

ITA Skip Amos Mosaner photo: WCF/Richard Gray
SUI Skip Michael Brunner photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Italy will play Switzerland for the Gold Medal in the final of the Mixed Team curling competition at the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria. Canada will face Sweden in the Bronze medal game.

In the semifinals on Wednesday afternoon, Switzerland met Sweden and Italy played Canada.

The Swiss got off to a head start and were up 5-1 by the fourth end. Sweden won two points in the fourth end then watched their Youth Olympic gold medal hopes fade as the Swiss stole five points in the fifth end. With his last stone of that end, Swedish Skip Rasmus Wrana wracked on a guard and gave his Swiss opponent Michael Brunner an easy raise for five. The Swedes shook hands at the sixth end, with the final score at 10-4.

“It’s awesome, I don’t know how to describe it - I still can’t believe it, it just feels great,” said an elated Brunner after the game. “Scoring five gave us confidence and took the pressure off a little but we knew we had to play until the end of the game so we had to concentrate. They made a few mistakes today and we made the right decisions which helped us win the game. We’re very happy and we will give our best in the final.”

Swedish coach Rickard Hallstroem said his team was bitterly disappointed: “it was really that missed shot in the fifth end that was the key to this defeat. But I am extremely proud of what the team has achieved this week but this was not one of our games.”

In the other semifinal, it was Italy who pulled away from the outset, establishing a 6-1 lead over Canada by the fourth end with a steal of three points. Canadian Skip Thomas Scoffin attempted to break up three Italian stones lying in the house, but he was light with his shot and hit a guard and let the Italians steal the three points. The Italians went on to win the game 8-2.

“We are delighted to have made it this far to the final. This is more than we expected coming into the event. It was already an objective for us to make it to the quarterfinals – to make it to this point is even better,” said Italian Skip Amos Mosaner.

“It’s tough to take. Italy came on firing, they played very well, they were the better team and they deserved to win today,” conceded Scoffin. “We had a goal to keep it simple but we got away from that a little. It was tough with them scoring a deuce in the first end, we had to play more aggressively but credit to them. Their skip made all his shots today and best of luck to them in the final. We’ll take some time, regroup, go over what happened but we’re going to be ok for the bronze medal game.”

The Gold Medal games will see Italy take on Switzerland. The Bronze Medal game will be between Canada and Sweden. Both medal games take place on Wednesday at 17:00 local time (CET).

The final standings of the Mixed Team curling competition will determine the teams for the unique Mixed Doubles curling competition where one male and one female curler, from different nations, join together in the second curling competition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Curling fans can keep up to date with the latest scores from the event via the World Curling Federation micro-site: http://www.innsbruck2012.worldcurling.net

The World Curling Federation is also be updating regularly from the event via their fan feeds on Twitter http://twitter.com/worldcurling and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/WorldCurlingFederation

A daily highlights video clip covering all of the Winter Olympic sports taking place at the Games will be available on the Innsbruck 2012 YouTube site http://www.youtube.com/innsbruck2012

FINAL STANDINGS

5. USA – United States of America
6. CZE – Czech Republic
7. JPN - Japan
8. NOR - Norway
9. CHN - China
10. GBR – Great Britain
11. RUS - Russia
12. KOR - Korea
13. NZL – New Zealand
14. AUT - Austria
15. GER - Germany
16. EST - Estonia

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