April 6 – Norway today beat defending champions and Scandinavian rivals Sweden 8-3 to take the 2014 men’s world curling title – their first since 1988.
The victors opened the match at Beijing’s Capital Gymnasium with a draw shot by skip Thomas Ulsrud to score one point in the first end, before stealing another in the second to give them a 2-0 lead over the Sochi 2014 Olympic bronze medal-winning nation.
The third end saw Ulsrud playing a double take-out with his last stone, leaving Sweden the chance to score with their own last stone, but skip Oskar Eriksson was light with his last draw and his stone wrecked on a Norwegian stone on the way in, allowing Norway to take another two points.
Norway secured another point in the fourth end but Sweden finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth when Eriksson drew his last stone into the house to score one point and reduce the Norwegian lead to 5-1.
Ulsrud built on his lead again in the sixth end with a draw shot that scored one point, but Sweden hit out a Norwegian stone in the seventh to take two points and bring the score to 6-3.
However, Ulsrud played a nose-hit with his last stone in the eighth end to score two points and win the game – and the world title – for the Norwegian team, which also featured third Torger Nergård, second player Christoffer Svae, lead Håvard Vad Petersson and alternate Markus Høiberg.
“We’ve been training so hard for this for so many years, for so many Worlds,” he said following the victory.
“I’ve been close a couple of times but to be called world champion, that sounds amazing.
“We’ve been in a lot of championship finals and we’ve been here before, so experience made the difference I think.”
Ulsrud explained that Sweden had been playing well all week but then handed them the game in the beginning of the final.
“If Norway is leading 5-0, you’re in trouble,” he added.
Eriksson admitted his squad had “played pretty bad” but were happy to have made it to the final.
On winning the silver medal, he said: “It’s really good for us, it’s the first time we’ve played in a senior event as a team.
“In a few weeks we’ll be really happy, I think.”
Earlier in the day, Switzerland beat Olympic champions Canada 7-5 to win the world bronze medal.
“My guys played an awesome game today,” Swiss skip Peter de Cruz said.
“We were really ready for the game and I think that we probably wanted it more than them – that made the difference.”
The 2015 World Men’s Curling Championship will take place in Halifax, Canada between March 28 and April 5.