No not that way – just the last games of the week. Early Friday morning and Ireland are back on after their close defeat against Hungary to take on the home nation in the semifinal to decide which other team goes to the A group next year and to the B final this year. Although the game was tied at 3-3 early on, the Russians proved too strong in the end and ran out 6-3 winners. Ireland will now play off against England for the bronze medal tomorrow morning – why that game has been delayed until then is a mystery as there is plenty of ice for it to be played alongside the main finals.
In the ladies semifinal it was a much closer finish with Finland winning 8-7 at the last end. The only issue to be resolved is the bronze medal which will be contested between Poland and Slovakia – again tomorrow morning.
The ice in the B hall, which early on was drawing a lot, has now become a lot straighter – which has played right into the hands of the big hitting Russians ... as England found out the other day, if you cannot bury a stone behind a guard they will just blast it away. It is a while since I last saw a player at this level with a backswing as high as the Russian skip Aleksei Tsesoulov. Today in the final, Hungary experienced the power of the Russian team as they lost 7-4 – a reverse of the result earlier on in the week when the ice was much swingier.
Hungary gained their first gold medal in International curling when the ladies won their final against Finland by 4-1. They cannot rest on their laurels however as they now have a three game rubber against the Czech Republic for the final World Championship place. Russia’s men will play Thomas Dufour’s France in a similar series of games.
I went into the A arena for the first time this afternoon for the conclusion of the men’s semifinal between Norway and the Czech Republic and you could have heard a pin drop – there was next to no crowd and it is such a vast auditorium that what little crowd there were seemed lost in the masses of multi-coloured seats – which surprisingly make it quite difficult to spot the crowd which merge into the kaleidoscope of colour.
So a long week draws to a close – this will be my last blog probably, apart from a quick round up of the bronze medal games, but I hope you have enjoyed reading about the parts that other journalists cannot reach!
And apologies for all outbreaks of Mr Grumpy who now has an appropriate mug donated by an admiring reader!
(Thanks, John, we like Mr Grumpy, and have enjoyed all your posts this week. Bob)