On top of the world

Team Canada (L to R) lead Dawn Askin, second Jill Officer, third Cathy-Overton-Clapham and skip...

Team Canada (L to R) lead Dawn Askin, second Jill Officer, third Cathy-Overton-Clapham and skip Jennifer Jones hold the winning trophy after the gold medal game at the Women's World Curling Championships in Vernon, B.C. on Sunday, March 30, 2008. (cp/Jeff Bassett)

JIM BENDER

, Last Updated: 10:44 AM ET

VERNON, B.C. -- The 'Comeback Canucks' needed no miracle this time.

Team Canada's Jennifer Jones overwhelmed China's Bingyu Wang 7-4 in the final of the women's world championship before a capacity crowd of 3,004 at the Greater Vernon Multiplex yesterday.

The victory avenged losses to China in the round robin and in Friday's 1 vs. 2 Page playoff. It is the first world title for all four members from the St. Vital Curling Club.

"It feels pretty darn good," said Jones, 33. "You always dream of it and you never know how many chances you're going to get. We went out and controlled that game and I thought we deserved it."

Jones jumped to a 3-1 lead with a three in the second end and never relinquished the lead.

"Even though we play aggressive, we're also a pretty good defensive team and we never really gave them a chance (to come back)," Jones said.

Canada scored a critical deuce in the seventh end to take a 6-3 lead. Jones made an angle-double-raise takeout to move China's second shot rock off the button to get the two.

"Getting that deuce in seven was huge," Jones said. "If we had given up a steal there, it definitely would have changed the character of the game. When we made that shot, we definitely knew the game was ours."

Canada outplayed China at every position.

"I think our players, it was their first time in the final game and they were a little nervous," said Wang. "I was a little nervous, yes."

The silver is the first medal for China on the world stage.

"I am so happy," said Wang, 23. "That is really good for around here."

Supported by third Cathy Overton-Clapham, second Jill Officer, and Dawn Askin, Jones defended the world title won by former Manitoba junior teammate Kelly Scott last year.

It is also the first world crown by a Manitoba team since Connie Laliberte in 1984. And it's only the second by a Manitoba rep since the world women's began in 1979.

"We're just so ecstatic," Officer said. "We had to work hard for it a few times this week but that's just one of the great things about our team."

The Canucks scored incredible comebacks to beat Japan's Moe Meguro in the semifinal and one of the best of all time over the U.S. during the round robin -- this after coming back to secure victories in the national semifinal and final. You had to believe they weren't going to be denied.

"It says a lot about our team and how tough we are, and how proud we should be because we never give up," Officer said. "Never."

In her first full season with the team, Askin won a provincial, national and world title.

"This is awesome," she said.

This was the Jones' second crack at the worlds after being shut out in less than ideal conditions in Paisley, Scotland in 2005.

"This makes up for all the bumps along the way in Paisley," Jones said. "And no matter what happens in curling now, we've reached everything that we wanted."

The only thing missing is an appearance in the Olympics. And Jones has qualified for the 2009 Olympic Trials.


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