Canada’s Rachel Homan wins gold at the World Women’s Curling Championships

Canada’s Rachel Homan defeated Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni 7-5 to win gold at the World Women’s Curling Championship on Sunday.

Homan managed a split and scored three points in the ninth round. The Swiss had no chance of a game-winning duel in the tenth game and conceded before they even threw their last stone.

The victory ended Canada’s six-year title drought in the event. It was Homan’s first world title since winning gold at the 2017 Playdowns in Beijing.

Jennifer Jones was the last Canadian to win world gold, taking first place in North Bay, Ontario in 2018.

Homan and her team of third Tracy Fleury, second Emma Miskew and top Sarah Wilkes picked up where they left off after finishing atop the standings at the national championship last month.

Canada was 11-1 in round-robin play in the Center 200 and defeated South Korea’s Eunji Gim in the semifinals.

This set up the top-ranked Ottawa rink for a showdown with second-ranked Tirinzoni, who had won four straight world titles.

Homan’s side came into the game with confidence, having won all four head-to-head meetings against Tirinzoni this season. The Canadian also ended Tirinzoni’s 42-game winning streak in the competition earlier this week.

As the first seed, Canada started with a hammer, but the Swiss forced Homan to a draw in the opening end.

The home team made a few small mistakes in the early stages.

Miskew scored and rolled out in the second, and Homan’s attempt to freeze the ball went slightly wide. This allowed the Swiss fourth-placed Alina Paetz to score a soft hit for a two count.

Canada was forced again in the third round and Homan’s final stone went down in the fourth to allow a Swiss score for two.

Paetz threw many consecutive shots in the fifth period, allowing Canada to equalize with two shots of their own.

Two gaps preceded an eighth end with stones in play. Fleury made a shot that rolled frozen on the button and Tirinzoni couldn’t shoot out the Canadian pieces.

Homan scored to make it fourth and Paetz had to draw.

In the decisive ninth period, Homan made two great shots that turned the game around.

Her rocket double takeout left Canada in third place. Paetz made a double takeout that left Canada shot with two Swiss stones on the back of the 12-foot ring.

Canada’s Rachel Homan (left) celebrates with her teammates after winning the 2024 World Women’s Curling Championships. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Homan tapped her own rock on top of the house and both rocks rolled in for three points, delighting the near-capacity crowd of 4,373.

The win improved Homan’s season record to 62-6. She improved to 24:8 in the direct duels of her career against Tirinzoni.

Previously, Gim defeated Italy’s Stefania Constantini 6-3 to win the bronze medal.

Homan and Miskew were named competition All-Stars at their respective positions. Sweden’s Sara McManus took third place and Switzerland’s Carole Howald was named front runner.

The total number of participants for the nine-day event was 45,602. Uijeongbu, South Korea, will host the Women’s World Cup next year.

The men’s curling world championship begins on Saturday in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Brad Gushue of St. John’s, NL, will skip the Canadian team.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 24, 2024

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