GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Canada’s Jennifer Jones is leaving the world women’s curling championship empty-handed.
The defending champion staged a spirited rally but fell just short, dropping a 7-6 decision to Denmark’s Angelina Jensen in Sunday’s bronze-medal game. The fourth-place finish marks the first time Canada has missed the podium since 2005, when Jones placed fourth in Paisley, Scotland.
The gold-medal game later Sunday features Sweden’s Anette Norberg taking on China’s Bingyu Wang (TSN2, midnight).
Jones, third Cathy Overton-Clapham, second Jill Officer and lead Dawn Askin played a strong game, but couldn’t keep up with the hot-shooting Danes, who earned just their second world championship medal since 2001.
“They played very well today,” said Jones. “We knew the field was going to be really tough. I thought we hung in there.”
Canada stormed back from an early 5-2 deficit to tie the game with two points in the eighth and a one more in the ninth, and did a magnificent job setting up the 10th end for a potential game-winning steal. But with the Canadians lying three, Danish fourth Madeleine Dupont put her first shot right on the button, frozen on an angle to a Canadian stone.
Jones attempted a soft takeout to remove the Danish stone, but her shot didn’t curl enough, and it caromed away to leave Denmark lying the game-winning point.
“They (could) get a lot more movement out of their rocks, and we just couldn’t follow them down,” said Jones. “My last one, we just took a little bit too much ice, perfect weight, and it just didn’t curl enough.
“Disappointing . . . hugely disappointing. But hopefully we’ll be back.”
Jones insisted the team will leave Korea believing it played close to its best.
“No regrets,” said Jones. “Honestly, you can count up six bad ends we had, and that cost us the championship, really. You feel like you let people down when you go home without a medal, but we played our hearts out and we tried as hard as we could and it just wasn’t meant to be.”
For the Danes, the victory is sure to provide a boost of momentum heading into the final 11 months before the Winter Games in Vancouver.
“It means a lot to us, because we played a really good tournament,” said Jensen. “Unfortunately we didn’t make it the last couple of games, but we’ve been so, so close.”
Dupont said the bronze medal will be one her team will savour for a while — but not necessarily because they beat Canada to win it.
“No matter who we beat, it doesn’t matter, a medal is always good,” said Dupont.
Canada ended up in the bronze-medal game following their 6-5, extra-end loss to Norberg in the 3-versus-4 Page playoff game. Norberg went on to beat Denmark in the semifinal, after the Danes fell to China in the 1-versus-2 Page playoff.
The loss to Sweden was particularly frustrating for a Canadian team that believed it should have defended its title.
“We shouldn’t have had two losses at the end of the round-robin,” said Overton-Clapham. “I thought we were the best team here this week, and unfortunately it just didn’t go our way.”
Jones said the fourth-place finish wouldn’t have any impact on her team’s approach to December’s Olympic trials, where the Winnipeg foursome is expected to be a heavy favourite to represent Canada at next year’s Winter Games in Vancouver.
“We’re always hungry,” said Jones. “A loss doesn’t make you hungrier. We just like to play and like to compete.
“It’s just fun to be here. We want to come back.”