Team Mouat triumphed at the 2017 World University Games in Almaty, Kazakhstan, by winning men’s curling gold after winning 11 straight games.
Team Aitken represented Team GBR in the women’s competition, but fell short of the playoffs after a tiebreaker defeat to Switzerland.
Elsewhere this week, Team Hutcheon took victory at the Aberdeen City Open, while Team Muirhead took part in the Pinty’s All-Star Skins in Banff, Alberta.
The World University Games attracted strong curling representation, with Gustav Eskilsson, Victoria Moiseeva, Kelsey Rocque, Steffen Walstad and Isabella Wrana among the skips involved.
Team GBR was made up of Team Mouat (Bruce Mouat, Bobby Lammie, Derrick Sloan, Gregor Cannon, Alasdair Schreiber) on the men’s side and Team Aitken (Gina Aitken, Rowena Kerr, Rachael Halliday, Rachel Hannen, Angharad Ward) on the women’s.
The round robin stage proved straightforward for Mouat – as they won all nine of their games!
They saw off Russia 9-5, Canada 9-4, Norway 7-4, Sweden 8-3, hosts Kazakhstan 10-1, the Czech Republic 5-4, Japan 10-4, the USA 9-7 and Korea 5-3.
It was much less clear-cut for Aitken, although having lost 7-3 to Russia in their opener, they reeled off wins against Kazakhstan (10-4), Germany (8-7), Switzerland (6-5), Canada (9-5), Norway (7-6) and Korea (9-6).
But they were then beaten 8-7 by Sweden and 8-4 by China, which tipped them into a tiebreaker against Switzerland.
And it was the Swiss rink of Briar Huerlimann who came through, scoring twos in ends four and nine, plus stealing one in end six, for a 6-4 win.
Mouat had of course safely made the playoffs, but they were made to sweat by Norway – Team Walstad being reigning Universiade champions, and recent German Masters winners – in their semi-final, with the Norwegians 5-3 up after five ends.
Mouat scored three in end seven to tie it up at 6-6, then stole one in the eighth, but Walstad grabbed two in end nine to regain the lead – only for Mouat to score two in the final end for a thrilling 9-8 victory.
GBR faced Sweden for men’s gold (the same countries as in the 2013 World University Games final, only with Mouat v Eskilsson instead of Smith v Eriksson) and Mouat got off to the ideal start – scoring two in end one and stealing another two in the second end.
The Swedes were 5-2 down at halfway, but hit back with twos in ends seven and eight, which gave them the lead at 6-5.
But rather than crumbling, Mouat responded superbly – making a takeout for two in end nine to inch back ahead 7-6, before stealing one in the 10th to win out 8-6 and claim the gold!
Norway won men’s bronze, while on the women’s side the medallists were Canada (gold), Russia (silver) and Sweden (bronze).
Bruce Mouat said: “It feels great that the men have finally won the gold.
“It was a really good final – we started really well and finished really well.
“To finally get the gold around our neck and to do it in such fashion is just absolute class.”
Thoughts are turning to the Scottish Curling Championships later this month, and several of the rinks competing in that event were present at the Aberdeen City Open this weekend.
The 18 competing teams were divided into two sections – and the Red Section was topped by the rinks skipped by Andrew Hutcheon, Tom Brewster and Greg Dunn (all on W3 L1 records), with Curl Aberdeen 1 (a changing line-up of local players) joining them in the playoffs.
David Edwards and Stuart Taylor’s rinks topped the Blue Section, joined in the playoffs by those of James Pougher and Susan Kesley – the best two of six teams to finish on W2 L2 records.
The quarter-finals saw Team Edwards ease past Curl Aberdeen 1 by a 12-2 scoreline, while Team Hutcheon defeated Team Kesley 7-2 and Team Dunn saw off Team Taylor 5-3.
And in the other last-eight tie Pougher’s Welshmen knocked out Scottish champion Brewster, scoring three in end seven and stealing one in the eighth to win it 7-5.
Team Pougher then edged out Edwards to make the final, winning their semi 8-7 after an extra end, while Hutcheon defeated Dunn 5-4.
The final began with the teams trading twos, but Hutcheon then took control – scoring twos in ends four and five, then three in the seventh – to take the victory 9-3 and claim the Scottish Curling Tour event title.
So the local team took the plaudits – congratulations Andrew Hutcheon, Murray McGregor, Andrew Dolman, Angus Roberston (pictured below)!
More photos and reports from the event are available here.
Also in Scotland this weekend, Team Kinnear maintained their dominance of the Asham Under-17 Slam events by winning in Perth.
After six sections which were topped by Teams Morton, Gallacher, Kennedy, Farmer, Craik and Kinnear, the quarter-finals saw Morton beat Farmer 4-3 and Gallacher see off Kennedy 5-3.
In the semi-finals, Craik eased to a 7-1 win over Gallacher, while Kinnear defeated Morton 4-1.
The final brought a ruthless performance from Kinnear, as they scored twos in ends three, four, six and seven en route to a 9-3 victory.
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So this morning had us once again against Team Gallacher. We came out victorious after a strong performance throughout the game. We then played the final which was against Team Kinear. A few missed opportunities led to a loss. However this secured our second place slot in the overall slam which we are very happy at. A huge congratulations to Callum and his team for winning the overall slam. For us there is next year where we hope to go one better and win the overall slam and keep improving in our games. Finally a massive thanks to all our sponsors for making it possible for us to compete in these slams. @fitbiteurope @forfarindoorsports @foxglide #dmcarnegie #apjess
The low road final was won by Team Haswell, 11-3 conquerors of Team Gow.
Kinnear (Callum Kinnear, Ryan McCormack, Duncan McFadzean, Matthew McKenzie) were named as Scottish Under 17 Asham Slam winners for the season, with Farmer (Beth Farmer, Kirstin Bousie, Katie McMillan, Alexandra Mackintosh) crowned the top female U17 team for 2016/17.
Finally, Team Muirhead took part in the Pinty’s All-Star Skins alongside Teams Carey, Jones and Sweeting – plus Teams Edin, Jacobs, Koe and McEwen on the men’s side.
Unfortunately for Muirhead (Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams, Lauren Gray) their introduction to the competition – where the teams compete for the monetary value of each end, or ‘skin’ – was a rude one.
Pitted against Sweeting, they were well beaten, the Canadians collecting $19,500 in prize money to Muirhead’s $1,500 – you can watch brief highlights of the match here.
Sweeting were beaten to the women’s title by Jones, while Koe defeated Jacobs in the men’s final.