Switzerland and Sweden take European curling honours

Saturday, 30 November 2013
By Nick Butler

Sweden's Maria Prytz was a key player in securing her country the European title ©AFP / Getty ImagesNovember 30 - Switzerland's men and Sweden's women have created early-season momentum on the road towards Sochi 2014 after taking respective titles at the European Curling Championships in Stavanger.

With the finals pitting the winners of the sole semi-final against the team who topped the standings in the classification round it was the semi-final winners, so in theory the lower ranked team, who emerged triumphant on each occasion.

On the women's side after winning every match en route to the final Eve Muirhead's Scotland team, also the world champions, were heavily favoured.

But from the moment Muirhead sufferered a complete miss with an attempted takeout in the first end, they produced an uncharacteristically error strewn performance and Sweden duly took full advantage.

The Swedes took a 4-1 lead before three points in the final end confirmed a 10-5 victory for Margaretha Sigfridsson's team, Sweden's 19th European title.

Scotland, on the other hand, had to settle for a second silver medal after their loss in last year's final to Russia. 

Sweden celebrate following their victory over world champions Scotland ©AFP/Getty ImagesSweden celebrate following their victory over world champions Scotland ©AFP/Getty Images


Sigfridsson was delighted following the victory and reflected how her team "felt very comfortable and really brave on the ice today and this game was so great - we just kept playing our own game and making the right decisions all the way though."

"We really wanted to get our play working the way we wanted and to get everything feeling right this time," she added.

"The gold medal wasn't the most important thing but we wanted to have a good result at this tournament and it was fantastic to do this."

After missing out on the final Switzerland recovered to secure a 6-4 victory over Denmark in the bronze medal match.

There was much more for the Swiss to celebrate however in the men's event after they overcame the challenge of the home crowd as well as a tough Norwegian team.

Benoit Schwarz of Switzerland in action as they close in on the European title over hosts Norway ©AFP/Getty ImagesBenoit Schwarz of Switzerland in action as they close in on the European title over hosts Norway ©AFP/Getty Images


Norway took an early lead but, in a pulsating contest in which the lead changed hands on several occasions, a vital there points for the Swiss in the eighth end eventually proved pivotal.

The hosts, European champions in 2010 and 2011, fought back with two points of their own late on but it proved not enough as they eventually succumbed to an 8-6 defeat - with Switzerland taking a first title since 2006. 

Scotland took the bronze medal after a 7-6 win over Denmark, who suffered the misfortune of finishing fourth in both the men's and women's events.

Elsewhere, the battle for World Championships qualification for next year's men's event in Beijing was won by Germany who won their best of three match series against Latvia 2-0.

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