Third time's a charm

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

VERNON, B.C. -- Three of the four Miracle Manitobans can now breathe a long-awaited sigh of relief.

That starts with Cathy Overton-Clapham. The Canada third settled for silver at the 1995 women's worlds and was shut out in 2005. She did win bronze at the 1990 world junior womens.

Now she's finally grabbed gold.

"It feels great, very exciting," said Overton-Clapham, 38. "It's been a long time waiting ... There was a lot of time put into the game and a lot of time away from home and practising hard and trying to get better, and it finally paid off.

"When I woke up (yesterday) morning, I just had a great feeling. I felt we were ready to play and we got the three off the bat (in the second end) ... We very seldom lose to someone three times and I just felt that we had a good feel coming into the game."

The rest of the team had said they wanted to win these worlds for her.

"She's like a sister to me and this was her fourth world championship and I know she really wanted to win," said Canada skip Jennifer Jones. "We all wanted to win and we were just talking on the podium that we were actually all in shock because when you really want something, sometimes it doesn't always happen and we won today and that's something that's pretty special."

The most emotional moment was when the team sang the national anthem on the podium as tears streamed down their jubilant faces.

"It was great," said second Jill Officer. "Loud and proud, baby. It was awesome and when the beat really picks up at the end there, I just totally had chills all the way down my body."

Jones, too, had chills.

"I can't describe it," she said. "I wish everyone in the world could experience that feeling, seeing that flag raised, and seeing it come true on Canadian soil is pretty special."

Overton-Clapham was overcome by emotion during the anthem.

"It was an incredible feeling," she said. "That was a very exciting moment. I don't think it's sunk in yet but it's pretty exciting."

SHUT OUT IN 2005

Jones and Officer were denied the chance to go to the worlds after winning the 1994 national junior title and were also shut out at the 2005 women's worlds.

"We're just so ecstatic," said Officer. "We had to work hard for it a few times this week but that's just one of the great things about our team. We fought for it and we came out ready to play (yesterday).

"We felt like this was an opportunity and we said (yesterday) morning, 'This is a bonspiel that you can't get into very easily so we have to take this opportunity to go out there and play because we may never get back here again.'"

Lead Dawn Askin earned gold in her first appearance on the world stage.

"I can't compare it to anything," said Askin. "I just know it's gone so well and the crowds were great to have the whole country, or Vernon at least, always behind you. It's truly an event of its own as compared to the Scotties. It was good ... It seems like we've played together forever."

The Jones entourage returns to Winnipeg today at 7:28 p.m. (AC 296).


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