Page play-offs Roundup

Sweden qualified for the gold medal after defeating Italy 6-2 Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Sweden men and Switzerland women qualified for the gold medal games following wins in their Page 1v2 play-offs at the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2014 being held in the Palladium de Champéry in Champéry, Switzerland.

In Thursday evening's play-off action, reigning women’s world champions Switzerland beat Russia, previously unbeaten in this event, by 6-5 in the Page 1v2 play-off to move directly to Saturday's gold medal game.

There they will face either Denmark's Lene Nielsen, who beat Scotland's Eve Muirhead by 8-3 in the Page 3v4 play-off game, or Russia again. This will depend on which of the two teams win the sole semi-final. Following that, Scotland will play the semi-final losers for bronze medals.

In the Page 3-4 game Denmark beat Scotland after eight ends of play. Afterwards Denmark skip Lene Nielsen said: "Our steal of two in the second was the key end for us. It put her under a lot of pressure to go out and create in the game and we got the upper hand. What we did today is what we need to do to win our semi-final. We’ve played two really good games with very few mistakes and we need to keep that going."

In the men's play-offs, undefeated Sweden swept Italy aside by 6-2 in eight ends to move directly to the gold medal game.

Speaking about the win that kept his Swedish team undefeated throughout the week, skip Niklas Edin said: "That win was really important. We have a new team and we need to prove ourselves for everyone that cheer for us and all the people we work with. It's important to show that we can pick up a medal right away. Being in the final takes away all the pressure on us and now we can just go for the gold."

On the next sheet, world champions Norway beat defending European champions Switzerland by 5-2 after nine ends of play in the 3v4 play-off to keep their title hopes alive.

Norway will now face Italy in the semi-final, with the winner going on to play Sweden in the gold medal game, while Switzerland will wait to contest the bronze medals against the semi-final losers.

Following their win, Norway skip Thomas Ulsrud said: “We started off a bit bumpy for our standards but we managed to bounce back and now we are in the semi-finals. We were lucky to get some breaks in the game and we were able to control the game from there. Italy was a big surprise - the big surprise of the week! They actually beat us hands down in the round robin so it’s payback time - they will meet a different Norway tomorrow!”

In the men’s B Division the Netherland’s beat England 10-4 in the sole semi-final. Their win guaranteed a place in the gold medal game where they will face Finland. As a result, both Finland and Netherland’s men will participate in next year’s A Division.

England meanwhile will play Hungary in the bronze medal game.

Contrary to the early roundup, it was in fact Norway who defeated Austria 10-5 in the 1v2 Page play-off while Hungary defeated Italy 11-3 in the 3v4 game.

That meant Austria played Hungary in the sole semi-final. In this game Hungary won after stealing a single point in the tenth end to win 7-6.

This qualified Hungary for the gold medal game against Norway, with both teams also promoted to next year’s A Division.

The consequence of this for Austria is that they will now play Italy for the bronze medals.

All B Division medal games will take place at 10:00, while the next session of play in the A Division is the men’s and women’s semi-finals which begin at 13:00, all times local (CET).

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