Switzerland won their fourth World Women’s Curling Championship title in five years, Binia Feltscher’s rink defeating Japan in the final in Swift Current, Canada.
Russia saw off Canada for bronze, with Scotland’s Team Muirhead having narrowly missed out on the playoff places after losing their final three round robin games.
Meanwhile, Team Murdoch beat Team Brewster to claim the inaugural Aberdeen International Curling Championship, and Judith and Lee McCleary came third at the Latvian Mixed Doubles Curling Cup.
The World Women’s Curling Championship came to its conclusion this weekend, but unfortunately for Scotland, they were not in contention for medals.
Having started slowly with a 5-3 loss to Sweden, the Scots (Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams, Sarah Reid) reeled off seven straight wins – against Korea (8-6), Germany (10-3), Italy (8-7), the USA (6-5), Denmark (9-3), Finland (6-5) and Russia (7-1).
But their match against Switzerland proved to be as pivotal as it was costly. The Scots were 5-1 up after five ends but the Swiss stole their way back into the contest to take it to an extra end – where Binia Feltscher made a superb in-off to score one and win 7-6.
It was tight at the top of the standings, which meant Scotland had to win one of their last two games to make the playoffs, but both ended in defeat.
Japan romped to a 10-4 victory over Muirhead’s rink, and Canada hammered the final nail into the coffin, scoring three in end six and four in end nine to win 9-4.
Skip Muirhead said afterwards: “It’s hard to take that we’re out but we lost the last three games and at major championships you just can’t do that.
“It’s harsh because I think we played well most of the week. I guess the Swiss game has come back to bite us, but that’s sport.”
In the playoffs, Switzerland scored three in end seven and two in end nine to beat Japan 8-4 in the 1v2 game, before Russia saw off Canada 7-4 in the 3v4 match.
Japan bounced back to defeat Russia 7-5 in the semi-final, scoring two in the extra end – Russia winning bronze (a third in a row for Anna Sidorova’s rink) with a 9-8 win over Canada.
Come the final, Switzerland led 2-1 after five ends, but Japan scored two in end six. Switzerland retook the lead with three in end seven, only for Japan to answer with three of their own in end eight.
The Swiss scored two in end nine, and stole two in end 10 when opposing skip Satsuki Fujisawa’s draw went long out the back – meaning a 9-6 win for Switzerland and yet more gold medals for the country in this competition.
It was Team Feltscher’s (Binia Feltscher, Irene Schori, Franziska Kaufmann, Christine Urech) second Worlds win (having also taken gold in 2014). Schori said: “We are so excited. It’s unbelievable, it’s so great.
“We can’t realise it right now [that this is our second title] – maybe tomorrow, we are so excited, it’s awesome.”
As for Japan, this was their first ever World Women’s medal.
Back in Scotland, the first ever Aberdeen International Curling Championship took place, with Team Murdoch (David Murdoch, Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews, Michael Goodfellow) victorious.
The competition involved 20 teams – including rinks from China, Russia, Slovakia and the USA – divided into four sections.
The Red Section saw Teams Brunner (Switzerland) and Ulsrud (Norway) qualifying, Team Smith of Scotland missing out on last stone draw (LSD) after all three rinks finished W3 L1 – but only after coach Viktor Kjäll had stepped back onto the ice as skip!
Teams Kauste (Finland) and Shuster (USA) were the qualifiers from the Blue Section, while Murdoch were joined in making it out of the Yellow Section by fellow Scots Team Mouat (despite skip Bruce Mouat being away).
And the Green Section saw Team Brewster come through with four wins from four, ahead of Team Van Dorp of the Netherlands, who pipped Teams Drozdov (Russia) and Bryce on LSD.
In the quarter-finals, Brunner defeated Shuster 6-3, Ulsrud edged Kauste 6-5, Murdoch beat Van Dorp 9-1 and Brewster were 9-4 winners over Mouat.
Come the last four, Brewster stole in ends seven and eight to beat Ulsrud 5-3, while Murdoch overcame Brunner 7-1.
That set up a rematch of the men’s final at last month’s Scottish Curling Championships, but this time with a different outcome.
Murdoch scored twos in ends one and five, before stealing one in end seven to win 5-1 and take the title.
Check out photos from the event here.
Finally, Latvian Mixed Doubles Curling Cup 1 took place in Riga.
Scottish pair Judith and Lee McCleary claimed third place, behind Camilla Noreen/Per Noreen of Sweden and runners-up Jenny Perret/Martin Rios (Switzerland).
In Group B, the McClearys defeated Regža/Freidensons of Latvia 9-6, drew 7-7 with Colceriu/Coliban of Romania and beat Molder/Lill of Estonia 12-3.
They then beat Szekeres/Nagy of Hungary 10-4, and edged Perret/Rios 7-6, before losing their final match 5-4 to competition winners the Noreens.
Latvian Mixed Doubles Curling Cup 2 – featuring another Scottish pair, Gina Aitken and Bruce Mouat – takes place from Thursday this week.