Mixed Team Curling Competition - Swiss win Gold, Italy Silver, Canada Bronze

Team Switzerland win first Gold medal for Curling at Winter Youth Olympic Games photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Switzerland won the gold medal in the Mixed Team Curling Competition at the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria. The Swiss beat Italy 6-4. The Italians took the silver medal. Canada won the bronze beating Sweden 6-4.

It was the third game of the day for all the teams involved in these medal games, having played the quarterfinals in the morning and the semifinals in the early afternoon.

In the gold medal game, Swiss skip Michael Brunner and his team – Elena Stern (third), Romano Meier (second) and Lisa Gisler (lead) faced Italy, skipped by Amos Mosaner with Denise Pimpini (third), Alessandro Zoppi (second) and Arianna Losano (lead).

It was a close game, but one where the Swiss had the upper hand all the way. Going into the eighth end, Switzerland were up two points on 6-4 and Italy had to take two to tie the game up and force an extra end. Skip Amos Mosaner was heavy with his first stone and the game was over at that point, with the final score staying at 6-4.

“I feel great, just great I can’t believe it! It was perfect,” exclaimed Swiss Skip Michael Brunner on winning the Gold medal. “Our goal was to reach the quarterfinals, but I thought it would be great to have a medal. I am really happy that it worked. It was something different to play this event.”

“We made it to the final, we tried to win, we did our best – but things went wrong and we lost 6-4. It was a hard game but we finish in second place and we should be happy with that,” explained Italian Skip Amos Mosaner. “It’s been a wonderful experience to play at this event. We’re young and to take part in an Olympics is such a big thing.”

As the Gold medal game concluded, Canada and Sweden were still battling out for the bronze. Playing for Canada was Skip Thomas Scoffin, Corryn Brown (third), Derek Oryniak (second) and Emily Gray. Rasmus Wrana was skipping for Sweden along with Amalia Rudstroem (third), Jordan Wahlin (second) and Johanna Heldin (lead).

It was another close game which went all the way to the eighth end. At the fourth end break, Sweden was winning 4-3. But Canada crept back taking one point in the fifth end to tie and stealing a further point in the sixth end to take the lead 5-4. In the eighth end, Sweden had the hammer (last stone advantage) and needed two points to win. Canadian Skip made a double take out with his first stone, then froze to the Swedish shot stone with his final stone. Sweden then needed one stone to count to tie the game up, but Skip Rasmus Wrana was light with his draw and handed the win and bronze medal to the Canadians.

“That was an amazing game. I give full credit to the Swedes. That was a battle till the end,” admitted Canadian Skip Thomas Scoffin on winning the game. “My team played one of the best games I’ve ever seen them play. It feels really good to come through in the last end like that with two good shots. There was no stopping us, and we knew it. I couldn’t ask for three better teammates.

“It was pretty heart-breaking [not to make the final] but we have a great coach who got us out of the funk. I think we came back as the more prepared team overall and it turned out for us” added Scoffin.

Swedish Skip Rasmus Wrana was lost for words with disappointment: “it was a tight game and I don’t have much to say. I’ve enjoyed the Youth Olympic Games but not this.”

Teams now have a day when they will get to experience what is on offer as part of the Culture and Education Programme which is also part of this Winter Youth Olympic Games. All the 64 curling athletes will also be back on the ice at some point on Thursday to train with their new teammate for the Mixed Doubles Curling Competition which forms the second part of the curling event at the games.

The final standings of the Mixed Team curling competition have determined the teams for the unique Mixed Doubles curling competition. There will be 32 teams in this event – one male and one female player form a team and both will be a different nationality.

This unique Mixed Doubles event begins on Friday 20 January, with a second round on Saturday. Semifinals and medal games will be played before the close of the event on Sunday 22.

FINAL STANDINGS – Mixed Team Curling Competition:
GOLD – SUI - Switzerland
SILVER – ITA - Italy
BRONZE – CAN - Canada
4. SWE - Sweden
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

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

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