Italian women and Austrian men win the EJCC and take the spot for worlds

08.01.2014
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Katja Kiiskinen

Lohja, Finland– The European Junior Curling Challenge 2014 has now finished. The Italian junior women faced Hungary in the final. Their game started out very even with Italy leading 2-1 at the 4th end break, but it turned to Italy's favour in the fifth when they got 4 points at the end of a great end.Hungary fought hard to come back to the game but couldn’t quite make it. Italy won with a final score of 8-3. The Italian coach Björn Schröder was delighted with the week the team had:

-We had a tough first game against Turkey, but improved all the time and had a good Round Robin. The quarter-final against Estonia was really close, but thankfully we made it into the semi and we played great this morning against England. This morning’s semi-final against England gave us a lot of confidence for the final, and also all of the experience we gained from Stavanger Europeans and Füssen Olympic Trials obviously helped in the final games. In the worlds we will be facing a lot of tough opposition, but we will go do our best and of course anything can happen.

On the junior men’s side, the teams offered a thrilling final as both of the teams played better and better all throughout the game. The score was tied 4-4 after 7 ends and the Austrians got to start the 8th end with the hammer. The Dutch did a good job of putting up centre guards, but the Austrian's were also successful in moving them around and later on peeling them, keeping the centre of the house clear for their last shot. With his last rock, the Dutch skip Wouter Gösgens played a hit ‘n roll, which rolled slightly too much and left the Austrian skip Sebastian Wunderer the simple task of just hitting the Dutch rock in the house to win the game. The final score of the junior men’s final was 5-4.

The Austrian skip Sebastian Wunderer and his team had come to this year's EJCC with the goal of making it all the way to the finals:

-We have been training really hard this season and we have been on the ice several times a week. We struggled a bit at the start of the week here, but we kept improving and started to play our best just in time for the playoffs. It really helped to have so much support from back home and to have the Germans be such great fans all week long and cheer for us. We have also had Uli Kapp and Andreas Winkler helping us out in Kitzbühl every week during training, which has been a big help.

When asked about their goal for the junior worlds, Sebastian said with a chuckle: “We’re really looking forward to kicking some Norwegian butt there, we're really good friends with those guys”.

Austria’s junior men and Italy’s junior women have qualified for the 2014 World Junior Championships in Flims,Switzerland.

 

Final results and rankings of the 2014 EJCC:

Junior women’s Gold medal game: Italy vs.Hungary 8-3

Junior women’s Bronze medal game: England vs.Poland 7-6

Junior men’s Gold medal game: Austria vs. The Netherlands 5-4

Junior men’s Bronze medal game: The Czech Republic vs.Denmark 6-3

Final ranking for the junior women:

  1. Italy
  2. Hungary
  3. England
  4. Poland
  5. Norway
  6. Germany
  7. Turkey
  8. Estonia
  9. Spain
  10. Latvia
  11. Slovenia
  12. Finland

Final ranking for the junior men:

  1. Austria
  2. The Netherlands
  3. The Czech Republic
  4. Denmark
  5. Germany
  6. England
  7. Turkey
  8. Latvia
  9. Finland
  10. Hungary
  11. Spain
  12. Estonia
  13. Poland
  14. Slovenia

WCF Member Associations that have already qualified teams for the World Junior Curling Championships 2014 are:

Junior Women:Russia(Gold 2013),Scotland(Silver 2013),CzechRepublic,Sweden,Denmark,USA,Switzerland, andCanada.

Junior Men:Scotland(Gold 2013),Russia(Silver 2013),Canada(Bronze 2013),Sweden,Norway,Italy,USAandSwitzerland.

Further information about the World Juniors 2014 can be seen here on the event website: http://wjcc2014.curlingevents.com