Scotland Wins First Women’s Title
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ The country that invented curling finally has a women’s world championship.
The Jackie Lockhart rink of Scotland, aggressive most of the week, took a conservative approach in defeating Sweden 6-5 Saturday in the final of the World Curling Championships.
It was only the third time in 24 years of the tournament that Scotland had reached the final.
``Everybody is going to be absolutely thrilled,″ Lockhart said. ``The girls just played fantastic. All week we just tried to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy it all.″
Scotland won when Lockhart’s final shot gave them a point to snap a 5-all tie.
Swedish skip Margaretha Sigfridsson was shocked by the ending.
``We’re quite sad right now,″ she said. ``We’ll probably feel better in a couple of weeks, but we really would have liked to have won it.″
Sweden led 1-0 after five ends, the halfway point. Teams leading the championship after five ends had gone on to win 21 of 23 times.
But Lockhart said they were happy with the flow of the game.
``We didn’t want to take the game on too early,″ she said. ``We just had to dig a little deeper.″
The lead changed hands three times after the halftime break before Sweden tied it with one point in the ninth end. But Sigfridsson had to give up the final throw in the process.
The Scottish team of Lockhart, third Sheila Swan, second Katriona Fairweather and Anne Laird dominated all week, finishing at the top of the round-robin standings at 7-2.
It was the second major women’s curling title for Scotland this year. The Great Britain team led by Rhona Martin won the gold medal in the Salt Lake City Olympics.
Shortly after the Olympics, Lockhart defeated Martin for the Scottish title, earning a berth in this tournament.
``I owe a big, big thanks to Rhona,″ Lockhart said. ``They inspired us. We followed their dream.″
Norway took third place by rallying from a five-point deficit to defeat Canada 8-6.
On the men’s side Saturday, the Norway rink led by Olympic gold medalist Paal Trulsen, advanced to the finals by defeating Scotland 5-4 in an extra end.
Trulsen won on the last throw after Scotland was sitting with two rocks in the house.
Canada and the United States met in the second semifinal Saturday night.