Sunday, December 14, 2008

Le Gruyère European Championships 08

ÖRNSKÖLDSVIK, Sweden – Two great final games, one an up-and-down rollercoaster, the other a tightly-wound study of tactical maneuvering, have brought the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2008 to a stunning conclusion.

Scotland’s David Murdoch won an improbable second straight men’s victory with a shocking comeback win over Norway. On the women’s side, Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott buried some five years of frustration by finally defeating the mighty Anette Norberg of Sweden not once, not twice, but thrice in as many days... and in Sweden, no less.

That’s Swiss third Carmen Schaefer – you know her as Carmen of Curling, versions one and also two – celebrating upon the impact of her skip’s final takeout. Swedish third Eva Lund (background) knows what’s coming, Swiss third Valeria Spaelty (left) is rapidly getting airborne and of course WCTV cameras are right in there (WCF photo by Urs Raeber).

Another great photo of Swiss elation can be found here, taken by AFP.

Did you know that in just four days Ott and Norberg will become teammates, together with Bingyu Wang of China, as Team World takes on Team North America at the Continental Cup of Curling in Camrose, Alberta, Canada?

The men from Finland are back in the Worlds – Ford edition, coming up in Moncton – but without M-15, aka Markku Uusipaavalniemi, of course. The 2008 Eurohosts are thus out of the worlds, and Sweden’s men’s program is in complete disarray. Spain and Ireland are back down to next year’s B-Pool in Aberdeen, Scotland.

England’s women stay in the A-Pool and send the Dutch down next year, along with the Czech Republic. Norway’s women, finally minus Dordi Nordby and also missing the elusive Linn Githmark, are back in the Worlds (courtesy of skip Marianne Rorvik) and shall book their tickets to Gangneung, Korea.

Home, James. We’ll catch you next week ...

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