Switzerland’s Silvana Tironzoni team defeated Korea’s Eun-Jung Kim team 7-6 in the gold medal final game of the Women’s World Championships in Prince George, BC. It was the third consecutive championship for the Tironzoni team and the seventh for Switzerland in the past ten years.
Team Switzerland swept through the round-robin undefeated and completed a perfect week in Prince George with a semi-final win over Sweden before beating Korea in the final.
Canada’s Kerri Einarson foursome earned a bronze medal with a victory over Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg. It was the first Canadian medal since Jennifer Jones and her team won the gold medal in 2018 in North Bay. The medal is a first world medal for Einarson, Val Sweeting and Brianne Meilleur and a second one for Shannon Birchard who was the Jones team alternate in 2018.
Team Canada finished the round robin with three losses, including a round robin loss (8-7 extra end) to Korea which put them third in the standings. They defeated Denmark 9-8 in the quarter-final before losing their semi-final rematch with Korea.
The medal winning trend since 2000 is interesting. While Switzerland has won those seven gold medals in ten years, they missed the medals in the other three years of the past ten. In the prior 12 years, Switzerland won only three medals, none of them gold.
In the past ten years, Canada has tied with Switzerland with a total of seven medals, but only two of them were gold. In the 22 years since 2000, Canada and Switzerland have both won seven gold medals. Canada ranks #1 in total medals with 16 while Sweden is #2 with 11 and Switzerland is #3 with ten.
Despite Canada having won a medal in about 75% of the time, it is the gold medal count that most curling fans are interested in and two in the past ten years is below standard. With each passing year, the pressure mounts on the Canadian team, whoever represents this country at the Worlds.
It will be interesting to see if one of the new line-ups announced for next year will be going to the worlds to face that pressure OR if an intact Team Einarson can win a fourth consecutive Scotties and a return trip to the Worlds. This year’s experience will no doubt be an asset if that happens.