Sweden relishes bronze victory

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:17 PM ET

REGINA — Sweden's Niklas Edin missed out on Olympic bronze by only a few inches last February in Vancouver.

That’s why he was smiling on Sunday afternoon after beating Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud 7-6 in the bronze-medal match of the world men’s curling championship at Brandt Centre.

“We felt like (crap) until now, I’d say,” said Edin, who had an easy draw for the win. “We really focused on making a real good game here.”

The victory gave Sweden its first medal at the world championship since 2004 when Peja Lindholm, who served as Edin’s coach this week in Regina, captured gold in his home country.

“It actually feels good for Peja as well,” Edin said. “He has a great start for his coaching career. Gold for women’s (Anette Norberg) and a medal here at men’s as well. Our whole crew and I think all of Sweden, actually, is really happy with this medal.”

Edin and his teammates, all of whom are 25 years old, wanted to bounce back after Ulsrud thumped them 7-2 in Saturday’s 3-4 game. Edin felt his team didn’t get many breaks at all during the 10-day event.

“Nothing seemed to go our way, so we really wanted to focus on this bronze-medal game and pick up the medal,” said Edin, who, like Stoughton, will compete in this week’s Players’ Championship in Grande Prairie, Alta. “That means a whole lot more than finishing fourth and have a bad feeling with you until the next season and the next championship.

“This takes a lot of pressure off us. It means a lot for our team, in its third year together, to pick up that big medal. Now we can just move on and have a good summer and be happy about this medal.”

The loss ended Ulsrud’s three-year run of being in the medals at the worlds. His team lost last year’s final without him to Edmonton’s Kevin Koe. Ulsrud was dealing with a family emergency at the time.

“I’m a bit disappointed right now,” said Ulsrud, a 39-year-old tanning salon owner from Oslo. “It’s so close. You desperately want to medal. That’s the main goal, so to end up just short of that, I’m not happy.”

SOLID SUPPORT: The world championship doesn’t have the same allure as a Brier, but organizers were still happy with the turnout.

A total of 99,445 people attended the 23 draws at Brandt Centre, including a solid crowd of 4,839 for Sunday afternoon’s bronze-medal match.

Organizers expect the 10-day event to turn a healthy profit.

SEEING GREEN: The six green Team Canada jackets that Stoughton and Co. wore on Tuesday as part of Green Day raised $17,000 for the charity, including the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, in the Patch on Sunday afternoon.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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