Germany women and Italy men win Le Gruyère AOP European bronze medals

  • Italy’s skip Joel Retornaz © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

Italy’s men’s team have won a bronze medal at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2018, for the first time in this event since 1979. Also, claiming bronze medals on Friday night was Germany’s women’s team.

Germany women beat Russia 7-4 in the bronze medal game, meanwhile, Italy’s men’s team claimed bronze by overcoming Germany 8-6.

This is the first time a German’s women’s team have won a European medal since 2009, but it’s the first European medal for skip Daniela Jentsch and her team of third Emira Abbes, second Analena Jentsch, lead Klara-Hermine Fomm and alternate Lena Kapp. The team is coached by Uli Kapp.

Italy’s bronze medallists are skip Joel Retornaz – for whom this is his 11th European appearance – third Amos Mosaner, second Sebastiano Arman, lead Simone Gonin and alternate Fabio Ribotta. Soren Gran of Sweden is coach.

In the opening end of the women’s bronze medal game, Russia’s skip Alina Kovaleva played a draw-shot into the house to open the scoring with two points. After this, Germany’s skip Jentsch played a draw-shot in the third end to score three points and move into the lead, at 3-2.

Later in the game, Jentsch played another draw shot in the eighth end, scoring two points this time to move into a 6-4 lead, on the way to an eventual 7-4 victory. While their wait has not been as long as Italy’s, this is the first European medal for Germany since 2009.

Afterwards, an elated Jentsch [pictured below, © WCF / Richard Gray] said: “European bronze medallist? it sounds fantastic. We had our ‘A’ game there and I think we deserved the win. I am super happy, I can’t be happier. I didn’t think we would win a medal here this week. I think this is just what we needed, we needed this break-through, we’ve been struggling for many years and we’ve had some bad results due to bad luck.”

The Italian men took the initiative from the start, with skip Retornaz hitting out a German stone to score two points in the opening end. However, Germany responded straightaway. In the second end their skip Marc Muskatewitz drew his last stone into position to score two points and level the score at 2-2.

Later, in the sixth end, Italy’s Retornaz’s draw-shot was nicely managed by his sweepers to be nursed into position to score two points and take a 5-3 lead. Then, in the eighth end, Germany’s skip Muskatewitz played an in-off angle shot to score two points and reduce Italy’s lead to 7-5.

Eventually, in the tenth end, Italy’s Retornaz drew the final stone of the game into position to score one and seal his team’s 7-5 win and take Italy’s first European medal since 1979.

Afterwards, a delighted Retornaz [pictured below, © WCF / Stephen Fisher] said: “I have been around for a few years now and this is my first medal in the A-Division. I am really proud of what we achieved for our country – for everybody watching and for ourselves of course, because the team performed very well through the whole competition. We are really happy to have a medal around our neck. Everybody was always speaking about that [1979 bronze] medal and we said, we have got to win something so people can talk about another medal now”

Women’s bronze medal: Russia 4-7 Germany

Men’s bronze medal: Italy 8-6 Germany

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