European Curling Championships: Scotland beat Sweden in women’s final

The Scottish rink celebrate with the top prize in Lillehammer
Eve Muirhead (left) enjoys her third European gold medal after a great week in Lillehammer

Scotland’s men and women won gold at the European Curling Championships, beating Sweden in both finals.

Bruce Mouat’s rink beat the defending champions 8-5, following Eve Muirhead’s 7-4 success in Lillehammer, Norway.

It was a third gold medal for Muirhead, 31, in her eighth European final, following triumphs in 2011 and 2017.

Scotland’s men boast a 100% record, while the women lost just once in their opening nine round-robin games before seeing off Germany in the semis.

Muirhead was joined by long-serving team-mates Vicky Wright and Jen Dodds, along with newcomers Hailey Duff and Mili Smith.

“European champions again… that sounds amazing and it’s funny to think that a wee while back that I never thought that I would be top of the podium after my hip surgery and having been through a tough few months, but here we are,” said Muirhead.

“To do it alongside Hailey and Mili when they are making their debuts at this level, and Vicky and Jen who were winning their first gold medals, is something really special and I’m very very proud of them.”

Muirhead, Dodds and Wright had suffered disappointment at the World Championships in May, failing to secure an Olympic place when they finished outside the top six. However, they have one more chance to reach Beijing 2022, with a final qualifying tournament offering three further places.

Mouat’s men find their ‘groove’

Swedish skip Niklas Edin got the better of Mouat’s men in the World Championship final in April and the Swedes have dominated recent European Championships, winning five of the past six titles.

“We knew we were going to have to play well and we started a bit slow, but then we got back into our groove that we had found all week and it was a really good middle section,” explained Mouat.

“We managed to control the game there and got our nose in front and managed to keep it there, which is sometimes the hardest thing. We’re over the moon to be two-time European champions. We’ll have a good celebration tonight I’m sure.

“The boys and I worked so hard for this and we don’t want to stop here, just at the Europeans, we want to keep focusing on trying to do our best when we get out to Beijing in February.”

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