You can’t keep an Olympic champion down for long.
After losing a 10-8 nailbiter to Canada, Anna Hasselborg and Sweden rebounded in a big way with a convincing 7-3 victory over South Korea at the world women’s curling championship at PG’s CN Centre.
After going up 4-2 after the sixth-end, Hasselborg made a spectacular shot leading to a steal of one, which was then followed by a deuce in the ninth to put the game out of reach.
Despite curling 76% in the game, Hasselborg told Vista Radio she got a lot more comfortable during the second half.
“I was struggling a little in the first half so I just wanted to make sure that I threw the right weight and hit the broom.”
The 32-year-old from Vasteras, a city 100 kilometeres west of Stockholm, is happy to be competing in a somewhat-normal setting again after the 2021 worlds was played without fans in Calgary.
“It means everything really. I think there is no secret that when the pandemic hit we had a lot of struggles of not playing a lot of games, which is the thing that makes our team strong. It means everything to be out in front of a crowd. We are trying to make sure we are thanking the crowd a lot because it means the world to us that they are here supporting us,” said Hasselborg.
Hasselborg along with Sara McManus (third), Agnes Knochenauer (second), and lead Sofia Mabergs captured gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
In Beijing, the rink got off to a blazing 8-0 start only to settle for a tough-luck bronze in last month’s Winter Olympics.
When asked if the world championship is a shot at redemption, Hasselborg doesn’t see it that way.
“Not really. The Olympics were so different we had a COVID case just before going there and our pre-camp and build-up was a struggle for us. We were not even five players when we came into the Olympic Village so right now we are trying to enjoy ourselves because we are still pretty tired from the Olympics.”
Hasselborg has been the face of women’s curling in Sweden for just under a decade following in the footsteps of legends like Anette Norberg, Margaretha Sigfridsson, and Elisabet Gustafson.
“It’s big shoes to fill but we love bringing curling to Sweden. It’s always big during the Olympics and we really try to do what we can to make curling a little bit bigger in Sweden. A lot of people have done it really well before us.”
The Swedes move to 7-2 and are in second place.
In other action, Italy’s (2-7) Stefania Constantini converted a hit for two to put away Turkey (0-8) 9-7 in an extra-end.
Also, the Czech Republic (2-6) pulled off a major upset, defeating Japan (5-4) by a 7-3 in nine ends.
Petra Vinsova, who throws third stones for the Czechs, converted on 96% of her take-outs.
Canada has two crucial games in front of them today (Thursday). A 9 am tilt against Cory Christensen and the United States (5-3) is followed up by a primetime matchup against South Korea (6-2) at 7 o’clock.
The Canadians, skipped by Kerri Einarson are 6-2, which puts them tied for third in the standings with the Koreans.
.@brianemeilleur of @EinarsonTeam chats with @mypgnow ahead of Thursday’s games against @ChristensenCurl and South Korea @worldcurling @CurlingCanada #curling #WWCC2022 #CityOfPG #sports #northernbc pic.twitter.com/DresSZUTqP
— My Prince George Now (@mypgnow) March 24, 2022
Thursday’s 9 am draw has three other games including:
- Denmark vs Switzerland
- Norway vs Czech Republic
- Turkey vs Germany
The top six teams make the playoffs.
Qualification games go Saturday at 1:00 p.m. with the semi-finals Saturday night at 7:00.
Medal games hit the ice Sunday at 11:00 a.m. (for bronze) and 4:00 p.m. (for gold).
The full standings can be found here.
The full schedule and results are right here.
– with files from Hartley Miller