Braehead, Scotland – In Thursday (24 November) evening’s men’s semi-finals, defending champions Sweden had an 8-5 win over Russia.
Norway beat Switzerland by 7-4 in the other semi-final, meaning that Russia and Switzerland will contest for bronze medals on Friday (25 November) evening (19.00, Greenwich Mean Time), and Sweden and Norway will play for the title on Saturday (26 November) afternoon (15.00 GMT) – both are live on World Curling TV (geo-blocking may apply) and national broadcasters.
In the second end of their game against Russia, Sweden’s skip Niklas Edin drew his last stone to the back of the button to score two points and take a 2-1 lead.
Eventually, Edin played a nose-hit with his last stone of the tenth end, to score one and seal his 8-5 win.
In the other semi-final, Norway started strongly against Switzerland, with their fourth player Thomas Ulsrud drawing his second stone of the first end into the house to take an early lead with three points.
In the fifth end, Switzerland’s fourth player Benoit Schwarz was facing five Norwegian counters as he came to play his last stone, and he managed to hit out a Norwegian stone and keep his own in scoring position, for one point, to reduce Norway’s lead to 4-1. However, a further score of two by Norway in the sixth end, followed by a single point in the eighth proved enough to give them the 7-4 win.
Earlier in the day, Scotland women completed their round robin undefeated with a 8-4 win over Russia. Also, Czech Republic’s 8-3 victory against Norway secured them a first ever place in the European play-offs. Tomorrow’s semi-finals will be between Scotland and Russia and Sweden and Czech Republic at 14.00 (GMT).
They said it:
Anna Kubeskova; skip, Czech Republic (after 8-3 win over Norway): “Well, it was a really tight game from the beginning until we stole four, which was the turning point. We then tried to hold the win. We will try our best performance that we had here and hopefully we can get as far as possible.”
Niklas Edin; skip, Sweden (after 8-5 semi-final win over Russia): “That was a big game, going for a third title. You can lose out directly without the page play-offs, so it feels more important than usual, but we got a good start even though they stole one. When we got the second deuce we felt like we had the game in our own hands completely.”
Thomas Ulsrud; fourth, Norway (after 7-4 semi-final win over Switzerland): “This is actually the tenth time we’ve guaranteed a medal in the Europeans, so I’m actually quite proud of the boys today. We got off to a really good break today – three to Norway, can’t ask for a better start than that. We’re going to play Niklas [Edin, skip Sweden] in the final, so that’ll be a good one. We always have tight games against Niklas – we’ll try to mix it up this time, so we’ll see what happens.”
In the B-Division on Thursday Hungary and Turkey women qualified for the A-Division at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2017 - in St Gallen, Switzerland (17-25 November) - and booked their places in Friday's final (13.00, GMT) in Braehead Curling Club.
Hungary beat Netherlands 9-8, while Turkey won against Estonia 10-2.
On the men's side, Slovakia and Israel still have a chance to make history and win their first ever European medals. Slovakia faces Czech Republic men, while Israel will take on Netherlands in Friday's semi-finals (at 13.00, GMT). The winners of these games qualify for the 2017 A-Division.
Israel beat Poland on Thursday evening 8-4 and Slovakia won against Latvia 6-5.