Sweden goes straight to final
By CON GRIWKOWSKY, MQI Agency
|Sweden skip Margaretha Sigfridsson (centre) shouts as teammate Maria Wennerstrom sweeps during their 1-2 Page playoff game against Switzerland at the World Women's Curling Championships in Lethbridge, Alta., March 23, 2012. (ANDY CLARK/Reuters)
LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. - Tears of joy streamed down Margaretha Sigfridsson’s face after the Swedish skip earned a bye into Sunday’s final of the women’s world curling championship.
Sigfridsson, making her first appearance in the competition as a skip, eked out an extra-end 7-6 win over Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott in Friday night’s 1-2 Page playoff game.
“It was such a good game and it was so much fun to play it today,” said Sigfridsson. “It feels so great at the moment. We had such good energy and the team was so good. We performed really well today.”
It was a hard-fought win as Sweden had to get the job done despite some difficulties in the setups.
“My doubt was in the 10th end because a lot of our stones got stuck that we didn’t want to,” Sigfridsson said. “It was really hard for Maria (last-rock thrower Prytz) to miss her first stone.
“It was one of our best games. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get Maria’s stones where I wanted all the time, but she performed well.”
Sweden has a tradition of excellence in this event.
Their eight world titles is second-best only to Canada. That includes the 2011 gold brought home by Anette Norberg.
Swedish gold-medal winners have been more along the dynasty lines, with Norberg bringing home three titles and Elisabet Gustafson winning four times.
A win by Sweden Sunday would be the first time in the country’s history that different skips have won back-to-back titles.
“I hope we can enjoy the day and get our strength back for the final,” Sigfridsson said. “It’s hard to describe the feeling. You have to do it to know what it’s like.”
Since 2005, Sweden has actually taken over as a power in women’s curling, making four finals appearances compared to Canada’s three.
Ott drops back into Saturday night’s semifinal where she’ll await the winner of Saturday afternoon’s 3-4 Page playoff game between Canada and Korea.