Russia WINS 2015 Worlds Wheelchair Curling Championships
Russia Gold Medal
China - Silver Medal
Russia win World Wheelchair Curling Championship
release: 13 February 2015
Lohja, Finland – Russia are the 2015 World Wheelchair Curling champions
after defeating China in the gold medal game at the World Wheelchair
Curling Championship 2015 held at the Kisakallio Sports Institute in
The result means that China take the silver medals while hosts Finland
defeated Slovakia to win the bronze medals.
In the gold medal game, Russia raced to a 4-0 lead after two ends,
stealing a single point in the first end before China skip HaiTao Wang
hit a Russian guard and promoted it into the house to give Russia a
steal of three points in the second end.
China battled back, taking one point from the third end and stealing a
single point in the fourth end.
Russia extended their lead in the fifth end as, with his last stone,
Russia skip Andrey Smirnov attempted a draw into the house. Luckily for
him he hit his own guard, which promoted into a scoring position to
give Russia a score of three points.
China took one point from the next end, then stole a single point in
the seventh end before Russia closed out their win as China conceded in
the eighth end, with the final score 7-4.
This is the second World Wheelchair Curling Championship win for Russia
and this team after they won in Chuncheon, Korea in 2012.
In this year’s gold medal game they were skipped by Andrey Smirnov,
with Marat Romanov as third, Svetlana Pakhomova second and Alexander
Shevchenko as lead. They were supported by alternate Oxana Slesarenko
(who played in some games throughout the Championship) and coach Anton
After winning the game, Russia skip Andrey Smirnov said: “I feel
perfect – so, so happy! The second Championship win is certainly more
rewarding because this time around I understood what it took to win a
World Championship. The first time it was a little bit of surprise but
this time it was a big challenge for us.”
Speaking about the significance of their win, he said: “I think it
will be a good chance to further develop wheelchair curling in
Russia. We have a lot of new facilities opening and new people
who are starting to play so we believe this will be good for the
sport in our homeland.”
For China, who take silver, this is their highest ever finish at a
World Wheelchair Curling Championship, a remarkable achievement for two
reasons: wheelchair curling only began in China in 2007 and they have
the youngest average team age in this year’s Championship.
After picking up the silver medals, China skip HaiTao Wang said: “It’s
a pity we didn’t win gold but this is the first time our wheelchair
team has made it to the final so we have to be proud of our
achievements. We are very young with a long future ahead of us and I
know we’ll get better and better, year by year.”
In the bronze medal game, Slovakia were leading 3-1 going into the
fourth end. There, their fourth player Branislav Jakubec attempted to
promote one of his stones which instead raised a Finnish stone into a
Finland skip Markku Karjalainen was left with a draw into the house
which would have scored six points, but his shot was too heavy. None
they less, Finland still took five points to gain a 6-3 lead by the
fourth end break.
The teams exchanged single points in the next three ends before Finland
secured their win and the bronze medals with a hit for one point to
make the final score 8-5 in the eighth end.
Finland made history in this Championship for more than one reason. Not
only was this their highest ever ranking at a World Wheelchair Curling
Championship, it also marks the first time that Finland have been
represented by teams at the World Wheelchair, World Women’s and World
Men’s Curling Championship in the same season.
After their win, Finland skip Markku Karjalainen said: “We all feel
Incredible! It feels like winning (the gold). Today I think that it was
the Finnish attitude and spirit that helped us get the win. The fans
throughout the week have been fantastic and today they were our ninth
Speaking about their experience playing in this year’s Championship he
said: “It was very special to play here in our homeland - it gave us
strength. With these medals, hopefully more people in Finland will
start playing wheelchair curling and more dedicated facilities will be
Finland received further good news as second Mina Mojtahedi was awarded
the World Wheelchair Curling Championship Sportsmanship Award following
nominations from all competitors. This award is given to the athlete who
best exemplifies the traditional values of skill, honesty, fair play,
sportsmanship and friendship.
Earlier in the day, Russia comfortably beat Slovakia 12-1 in the sole
Following the conclusion of this event, the latest Wheelchair World
Rankings were published, which sees Canada and Russia retain the top
two spots while China leapfrogged Scotland/Great Britain into third
position thanks to their silver medals in Lohja. The full standings are
published here: http://worldcurling.org/wheelchair-curling-ranking
RESULTS Gold medal game: Russia
7, China 4. Bronze medal game:
Finland 8, Slovakia 5. Semi-final:
Russia 12, Slovakia 1.
FINAL STANDINGS (W-L):
1. Russia 11-1 (Gold)
2. China 8-3 (Silver)
3. Finland 6-5 (Bronze)
4. Slovakia 6-6
5. USA 4-5
6. Canada 4-5
7. Germany 4-6
8. Scotland 3-7 (Relegated to WWhCQ*)
9. Sweden 3-6 (Relegated to WWhCQ*)
10. Norway 2-6 (Relegated to WWhCQ*)
*WWhCQ – World
Wheelchair Curling Qualification event