On Sunday, two men’s sessions and one women’s draw took place in the A-Division at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2023 in Aberdeen. At the end of the day, only four teams remain undefeated: Germany and Italy on the men’s side and Norway and Switzerland women.
Italy enjoyed a good day’s work with two victories — in the morning they were 12-7 winners over Norway, whereas in the evening they handed Switzerland their first loss so far, beating them by 11-8. In this game, peculiarly, the teams swapped scores of three points in the first two ends.
After their morning victory against Norway, Italy’s Amos Mosaner said, “I think it’s an important win for us. And we played a decent game. We struggled a bit with the ice. The ice was not easy. Some tricky spots. But we managed in a good way.”
Germany also retained their unbeaten record to share the lead with Italy. In their first game of the day, they beat Czechia by 9-4, helped by a steal of four in the fifth end, when Czech skip Lukas Klima got his angles wrong on a promote attempt.
In the evening, Germany went on to beat Türkiye by 8-7, after an extra end.
After his evening win, German skip Sixten Totzek said, “It’s great that we’ve won three, but that one was so close. I’m so happy, this is probably the best start we’ve ever had at a Europeans. We’ve got three wins and that should be enough for top eight, and that’s what we wanted. Now we’ll be facing the top teams, so we need to improve our performance — you never know, maybe we can win one or two games.”
In the morning, Türkiye had beaten Finland by 8-7 to record their first win. In the evening, Finland went on to lose by 3-8 to reigning Olympic champions, Sweden.
This was a second win of the day for the Swedes as, in the morning, they defeated defending European champions Scotland by 8-5. In this game, the Scots gave up a score of four in the first end, and, despite a great fightback, never recovered.
After their victory over Scotland, Swedish skip Niklas Edin said, “I think we played really well in the beginning, and then I missed a couple of key shots. I’m not fully comfortable with some of the shots out there, but I think I’m slowly finding my way. I think we controlled it, even though we let them have a few easy points — or I let them have a few easy points. But I think overall, we’re really happy with the win after the loss yesterday.”
The Scots went on to recover with a 6-5 win over Czechia in the evening, a victory that they sealed with an open hit for one in the tenth end.
In the evening, Norway picked up their first win so far, beating Netherlands by 7-5. This result leaves the Dutch, who also lost to Switzerland by 4-8 in the morning, and Finland at the bottom of the table, still looking for their first wins.
During the only women’s session of the day, Norway and Switzerland strengthened their positions at the top of the standings. Norway beat Germany by 6-4 while Switzerland were 7-4 winners over Türkiye.
This was a third defeat in a row for Türkiye, who remain at the bottom of the table without a win. Meanwhile, Czechia succeeded in breaking their string of losses, with a 9-6 win over Estonia.
After seven ends in this game, Estonia were leading by 6-4. In the eighth end, Czech skip Anna Kubeskova played a hit-and-stay to score two points and level the game at 6-6. Eventually, Czechia went on to steal the ninth and tenth ends and record their first win in Aberdeen.
Afterwards, Anna Kubeskova said, “We really needed that win. It was a tight game, a stressful game, but we played some good shots. We got better during the game, and I think we had a very strong finish.”
Hosts Scotland played Italy in this session in the re-match of last year’s bronze medal game. In the fifth end, Scottish skip Rebecca Morrison played a perfect double take-out to score three points and take a 4-3 lead.
However, in the ninth end, with the score tied at 5-5, Italy’s skip Stefania Constantini played a precision draw that was well-swept onto the button, to score two points and take a 7-5 lead. The Italians went on to win by 7-6.
In the fifth game of the session, defending champions Denmark faced Sweden.
After eight ends, Sweden were leading by 6-5. In the ninth end, Swedish skip Isabella Wranaa played a nose-hit to score two points and take her lead to 8-5. The Danes ran out of stones in the tenth end, to give Sweden their second win so far.
After the game, Isabella Wranaa said, “It was a really tough game for us. We couldn’t find the ice conditions early in the game. I had to make some really tough shots today.”
Speaking about the game-turning score of three she made in the seventh end, she added, “We needed to score in that end and it’s always nice when you make the nice shots that turn a game around. We feel we belong here and it’s real fun playing for Sweden again.”
Click here for all the results from the A-Division.
Round-robin play continued in the B-Division in Perth with two men’s sessions and one women’s session. In the men’s Group A, Denmark and Poland are still undefeated, Denmark on three wins, Poland on two. In the men’s Group B, all eight teams played two games. Four teams won both of their games —Austria, England, Spain and Ukraine— and therefore share two spot on the rankings.
In the women’s competition, Poland is the only undefeated team after three sessions of play. They are followed by England, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia, who all picked up two wins and one loss so far.
Click here for all the results from the B-Division.
Engage with the World Curling Federation during the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2023 on X, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook and by searching the hashtags #curling and #ECC