Norway won the World Wheelchair Curling Championships 2017 gold medals and world title for the third time on Saturday 11th March in the Gangneung Curling Centre in Gangneung, Republic of Korea. Russia took silver while Scotland won the bronze medals.
In the bronze medal match Scotland – skipped by Aileen Neilson, with third Gregor Ewan, second Hugh Nibloe, lead Robert McPherson and alternate Angie Malone – fell four shots behind China in the second end before fighting back to secure a 9-5 victory and the bronze medals.
Scotland skip, Aileen Neilson said after the win; “It’s a bit surreal to be honest. Having come off from losing in the 1v2 game to Russia, and then to Norway [in semi-final] we knew we had to come back out here and fight. After giving up the four that was a big ask but it just shows the real dynamics we have in our team. We stuck together and we didn’t let it go until the very last stone was thrown. We’ve lost big ends before and managed to fight back – it’s about not letting that get to you. There are ups and there are downs but it’s how you cope with them. And I think we fought back after the losses. You learn more from the games you lose than the games you win. We have gained so much experience in having come back from the qualifiers to come back and medal. It’s just fantastic. I’m really, really pleased.”
The 10 teams competing at the Wheelchair Curling Championships 2017 in Gangneung, Republic of Korea have all earned Paralympic Qualification Points to be in qualifying positions for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
Twelve teams will compete at the Games. With points gathered across the past three World Wheelchair Curling Championships the Member Associations who have earned enough Paralympic Qualification Points are: Canada, China, Finland, Germany, Norway, Russia, Scotland (Great Britain), Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and hosts Korea.
This year’s World Championships also doubled as a test event for PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games being held between 9th and 18th March 2018, as the wheelchair curling will be returning to the Gangneung Curling Centre during the games.
There will be no wheelchair world championship next year (2018) as the Championships are not held in Winter Paralympic Games years. The World Wheelchair Curling Championships 2019 will take place in Stirling, Scotland between 2nd and 8th March 2019.
Photos: © WCF / Céline Stucki