Sochi, Russia – Canada won its third World Wheelchair Curling Championship title on Saturday beating Sweden 4-3 in a tightly-fought final.
Playing at the Ice Cube Curling Center, venue for the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Canada and Sweden ceded little ground in their game and restricted each other to single points. In the eighth end, Canadian Skip Jim Armstrong made a raise to a Swedish stone in the four foot. Swedish Skip Jalle Jungnell tried a hit and roll and was wide and the victory was Canada’s.
Team Canada was skipped by Jim Armstrong with Dennis Thiessen (third), Ina Forrest (second), Sonja Gaudet (lead) and Mark Ideson as alternate.
Sweden skipped by Jalle Jungnell with Glenn Ikonen (third), Patrick Kallin (second), Kicki Ulander (lead) and Gert Erlandsson as alternate had to settle for silver for the second time in the history of the event. Jungnell met Armstrong in the 2009 final. Armstrong skipped Canada to gold against Scotland in 2011.
“It was a great game,” declared Armstrong, “I think it was probably one of the best wheelchair curling games ever, very entertaining and obviously very close. Very exciting and really what our sport needs. It speaks well for the facility, it’s a new facility. I really think Sochi should be proud. Their volunteers are absolutely unbelievable. It’s a tremendous experience and I am really looking forward to having the opportunity to come back next year.”
“We gave ourselves an opportunity,” said Jungnell afterwards. “That was our goal. The worse thing that could happen was that we have an open house and that we have nothing to do. With my last stone we were so concerned about not hitting the stone directly. I could not jam it or he [Armstrong] would draw against it. I had to roll over, so we took a little more ice...and ah! it was just too much!”