Swedish curlers face Paralympic tie-break

Sweden will face Italy in a tie-break in the Paralympic wheelchair curling in Vancouver on Friday in a surprise extra match to decide who would progress to the semi-final stage.

Swedish curlers face Paralympic tie-break

“The make-or-break game on Friday became necessary after the two teams finished the round robin portion of the tournament tonight with identical 5-4 records,” said the Vancouver organizing committee of the Olympics and Paralympics.

The winner of Friday’s contest will play Canada in the semi-final match early Saturday.

Friday was scheduled to be a day off for the curlers, but Canadian skip Jim Armstrong welcomed the unexpected match.

“At least we have something to watch tomorrow,” he quipped.

Canada remained the team to beat, despite losing to Italy 8-7 in a match late Thursday.

Canada, though most members are new to the team, won gold in the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, the first year the sport was introduced to Paralympic competition.

In second place is the United States, which early Thursday beat Switzerland 8-2 to ensure a spot in Saturday’s semi-finals.

“The playoffs are anyone’s game,” said Augusto Perez of the United States. “We just play each game as it comes.”

The semi-final matches early Saturday will see the Americans play Korea, while Canada goes against the winning team of Friday’s Sweden vs. Italy match.

The teams that win those matches will the gold and silver medals late Saturday.

The Vancouver organizing committee announced late Thursday it would throw open the doors to Friday’s match for free, allowing fans in on a first-come, first-serve basis at no charge.

This is the second games for wheelchair curling and 10 countries participated including Canada, the US, Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

“It’s been a roller-coaster,” said British team manager Tom Pendreigh earlier in the week.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Swedes claim Paralympic curling bronze

The Swedish curling team has claimed the bronze at the Paralympics overcoming the USA 7-5 in Vancouver on Saturday. The host nation, Canada won the gold after beating the Koreans 8-7.

Swedes claim Paralympic curling bronze

Sweden played without an alternate, after officials suspended Glenn Ikonen on Friday after a random drug test detected a beta blocker in his body.

The drug is used to control high blood pressure and Ikonen, who said it was prescribed by his doctor in Sweden, told reporters he had not intentionally taken a drug on the banned list.

Canadian wheelchair curling skip Jim Armstrong led his team to a gold medal win Saturday in the final match of the Paralympic Winter Games, narrowly beating Korea 8-7.

The Canadians reached their final score midway through the game in the fourth end. Tension rose in the Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre as the Korean team, skipped by Kim Haksung, edged a little bit closer with each end of the nail-biting match.

But in the eighth and final end, a rock thrown by Armstrong careened down the sheet of ice to smash one of two Korean rocks out of the rings, averting a possible tie and securing the gold for host Canada in front of a crowd of more than 5,000.

“It’s tremendous and overwhelming,” Armstrong said. “This game really showed that the best part of wheelchair curling is that no lead is safe.”

The Vancouver event was the second time wheelchair curling was included in the Paralympics.

The 10 countries participating were Canada, the US, Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.