Day 8 - Semifinals

Czech Republic Skip, Zuzana Hajkova, led her team to the Gold Medal game Photo: WCF / Richard Gray

Sweden won the men’s semi-final, beating Norway by 8-4, to now face Canada in Sunday afternoon’s final of the World Junior Curling Championships 2012, but the Swedish women failed to make it a host nation double. They went down 5-6 to the Czech Republic in a semi-final that went all the way to the last stone.

The Czech Republic now face Scotland in Sunday morning’s women’s final, while the Swedish men are up against Canada later – both matches being repeats of the Page 1 v 2 Play-offs.

The turning point in the men’s semi-final came in the fourth end, when Swedish skip Rasmus Wranå played a perfect tap-out on a Norwegian stone to score four. Sweden followed that up with a single steal in the fifth for a 6-1 lead. After that, try as they might, the Norwegians could not really get back into the game, and were eventually run out of stones in the tenth end, with the final score at 8-4.

Afterwards, Wranå said, “our target was to make the final. We have high goals and we don’t always make them, but this time we did”. About the four in the fourth end he added, “it was a bit scary because if I hit the outside too much they would get at least one, maybe two. But I decided to go for it and it let us win.”

Looking forward to the final he said with a smile, “we’ve lost against Canada twice, so we’re going to pay them back...we’re just going to play our best.” The men’s gold medal game (Canada v Sweden) and the bronze medal game (Norway v Scotland) are scheduled to start at 13.00 hrs local time.

The Swedish women have produced more than one late revival on their way to the semi-final, but, with the scores tied at 5-5 and without last stone, their game against the Czech Republic was one come-back attempt too many.

This had been a tight game all the way. Sweden seemed to make the first break-through, scoring three in the fourth end, but the Czechs responded straightaway with three of their own in the fifth for a 5-4 half-time lead.

After this, Swedish skip Sara McManus blanked the next three ends, looking for a break-through, but good play by the Czechs, with stones on both sides of the house, forced Sweden to take one in the ninth to level the game.

In the tenth, the Swedes were lying one at the back of the four-foot ring with a number of stones out front. Czech fourth player Iveta Janatova was left with no alternative but to attempt a gentle tap-back to score the one needed for the win, and she executed it perfectly to put the Czech Republic into their first-ever world-level final, where they will face Scotland.

Afterwards, an absolutely elated Czech skip Zuzana Hajkova said, “I’m as proud as never before! That was an amazing game, I’ve never played a game like that! It was just great, and my fourth player is the best curler in the world! She played a very hard shot and she made it, she was amazing.”

Looking forward to the final against Scotland she said, “I think we must play the same game as today, because that’s the game that we play best. Just the same, that’s all,” adding, “I don’t want to think about tomorrow, I’m just here enjoying today.” as she went off to re-join the celebrations.

The women’s gold medal game (Scotland v Czech Republic) and the bronze medal game (Russia v Sweden) are scheduled to start at 09.00 hrs local time.

Results
Men
Semi-final: Norway 4, Sweden 8
Bronze medal: Norway v Scotland
Gold medal final: Canada v Sweden

Women
Semi-final Czech Republic 6, Sweden 5
Bronze medal final: Russia v Sweden
Gold medal final: Scotland v Czech Republic

Junior Men’s Standings after Semifinals
1. Canada 9-1 (play Gold medal game)
1. Sweden 8-3 (play Gold medal game)
3. Norway 7-4 (play Bronze medal game)
3. Scotland 7-3 (play Bronze medal game)
5. USA 5-4
6. Switzerland 5-4
7. China 4-5
8. Czech Republic 2-7
9. Italy 1-8 (relegated to 2013 EJCC)
10. Finland 0-9 (relegated to 2013 EJCC)

Junior Women’s Standings after Semifinals
1. Scotland 8-2 (play Gold medal game)
1. Czech Republic 7-4 (play Gold medal game)
3. Sweden 8-4 (play Bronze medal game)
3. Russia 7-4 (play Bronze medal game)
5. Japan 6-4
6. Canada 6-4
7. Norway 3-6
8. Switzerland 3-6
9. Italy 2-7 (relegated to 2013 EJCC)
10. USA 0-9

Women’s Gold medal game at 09:00 CET – Sunday 11 March
Scotland v Czech Republic - Live Webcast on www.wjcc2012.worldcurling.net

Men’s Gold Game at 13:00 CET – Sunday 11 March
Canada v Sweden - Live Webcast on www.wjcc2012.worldcurling.net

Curling fans around the world can follow live coverage of the event on http://www.wjcc2012.worldcurling.net and on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV In a new venture for this event, the action is being streamed globally through YouTube.

For mobile devices visit: http://m.youtube.com/worldcurlingtv

The live coverage and schedule is available along with news, live scores, galleries and video highlights on the event website: http://www.wjcc2012.worldcurling.net

Read additional comments from the players here: http://wjcc2012.worldcurling.net/news

Event Facebook Page: Hit ‘like’ to keep updated: http://www.facebook.com/wjcc2012sweden

Twitter hashtag for the event: #wjcc2012

The World Junior Curling Championships 2013 will take place in Sochi, Russia, from 28 February-10 March.

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