SILVER FOR SCOTS AS HOSTS SWEDEN CLINCH DOUBLE GOLD IN EURO FINALS
Scotland’s Team Muirhead narrowly missed out on gold in the final of the Le Gruyere AOP European Curling Championships in Helsingborg, after a brilliant final stone from reigning Olympic champion skip Anna Hasselborg secured a 5-4 victory for Sweden.
That perfectly executed promotion take out completed a double for the host nation with Swedish compatriots Team Edin having won the men’s title earlier in the day, as Hasselborg defended the title she had won last year.
The Scots had gone into the final end leading for the first time in the match after the second of two high quality draws by Muirhead had forced a rare mistake from Hasselborg at the ninth end to allow them to steal a shot and claim a 4-3 advantage.
The Swede demonstrated all her quality with that last, highly pressurised delivery, ending what had been a superb campaign by the Scottish quartet of Muirhead, Lauren Gray, Jen Dodds and Vicky Wright, as their skip acknowledged afterwards.
“It was tough to take, but give Anna all her dues, what a fantastic shot to win the championships,” said the two-time European and former world champion.
“We put up a good fight. It was a very good game, so it’s disappointing, but we got a silver medal at Vicky’s first championships. It’s difficult, but what can you do.
At what was her 12th appearance at the European Championships, Muirhead had made her 300th international appearance earlier in the week and it was the fifth time she had reached the final at this event.
However, after what has been a challenging period since she underwent hip surgery last year, there was consolation to be taken from having demonstrated the capacity to compete at the highest level once again.
“I’ve got a lot of silvers at Europeans and unfortunately that’s added another one to the collection, but we’ve got a lot we can take from this week,” said Muirhead.
“What a great week we’ve had. For me, with the team being so behind me, it’s been a tough couple of years, but those girls have been fantastic. They’ve been supporting me every single day and we can take a lot from this.
“We showed that we can still win, we can still hit the podium. Right now, it’s Team Hasselborg’s moment. They played a fantastic shot to win the championship and well done to them.”
As she revelled in that moment in front of her home supporters, Hasselborg meanwhile similarly paid tribute to Muirhead’s team.
“It’s been a dream. It makes me almost want to cry,” she said.
“We knew it would go to the wire, but we said that as long as we have hammer in the 10th end we have a good chance of winning this and we got it, but that was exciting.”
Switzerland won bronze after they beat Russia 6-5 last night.
Sophie Sinclair (alternate)
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© WCF/Cheyenne Boone/Celine Stucki/Richard Gray
Scotland’s Women 7W 2L
Saturday 16 November
Scotland v Norway 7-4
Sunday 17 November
Scotland v Denmark 7-6 (EE)
Scotland v Czech Republic 8-5
Monday 18 November
Scotland v Switzerland 9-8
Scotland v Sweden 4-11
Tuesday 19 November
Scotland v Germany 10-5
Wednesday 20 November
Scotland v Latvia 10-4
Scotland v Russia 5-10
Thursday 21 November
Scotland v Estonia 7-6
Friday 22 November
Women’s semi finals
Scotland v Switzerland 3-2 (EE)
Sweden v Russia 9-3
Women’s bronze medal game
Switzerland v Russia 6-5
Saturday 23 November
Women’s gold medal game
Scotland v Sweden 4-5