Schoepp ends 22-year drought at Worlds

It took Andrea Schoepp 22 years to win her second women’s world curling championship and the German skip says she’s not done yet.

Germany skip Andrea Schopp celebrates after defeating Scotland for the gold medal Sunday.

Germany skip Andrea Schopp celebrates after defeating Scotland for the gold medal Sunday.

SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. — It took Andrea Schoepp 22 years to win her second women’s world curling championship and the German skip says she’s not done yet.

“Get it once more, I think that’s the next goal,” the 45-year-old skip said after Germany’s 8-6 win in an extra end over Scotland to win the gold Sunday, making her the oldest skip to win the championship. “Maybe I can take the next 20 years and make it again. I think that would be a record.”

It was the second world women’s curling title for both Germany and Schoepp, who last won it in 1988 in Glasgow, Scotland. Schoepp, a math teacher from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, set the record in Swift Current for most appearances by a skip at a world championship with her 17th.

Canada’s Jennifer Jones took bronze earlier Sunday with a 9-6 win over Sweden’s Cecilia Ostlund.

Germany finished second to Canada in the preliminary round with an 8-3 record, but beat the Jones team from Winnipeg 6-3 in Friday’s playoff between the top two seeds. The victory punched Germany’s ticket to Sunday’s final.

Schoepp, who also won December’s European championship, has kept at her sport despite constant changes in her lineups and occasional battles with the Germany curling federation. She was left off the her country’s Olympic team in 2002 because of disagreements with her federation.

Third Melanie Robillard, 27, was born in Ottawa and is a former junior teammate of Canadian lead Dawn Askin. She now lives in Brussels. She joined Schoepp’s team as an alternate at the 2008 world championship in Vernon, B.C., but ended up playing the majority of the games there.

“She is becoming a legend,” Robillard said of her skip. “She’s never going to give up. I have a lot of respect for her.”

Monika Wagner plays second. Schoepp rotated Stella Heiss and Corinna Scholz at lead throughout the tournament. Scholz was in the lineup in the playoff game against Canada, but Schoepp went with Heiss in the championship game.

Germany was one of six in the 12-team field that participated in the Olympics last month in Vancouver and finished sixth. Some of those teams, including 2009 world champion Wang Bingyu, showed signs of post-Games burnout at the world championships.

The curling ice was taken out of Schoepp’s home rink on March 1. She feels that may have been a blessing because her team was rested heading into the tournament.

“Coming here a week earlier, what the other teams all did to play a bonspiel or to practice makes no sense,” Schoepp said. “You have to have rest a little bit. We were maybe the most relaxed team that came here. We were forced not to practise.”

She has a reputation as a physical fitness fanatic. The avid cyclist went on two-hour bike rides on the roads in and around Swift Current during the tournament.

Her first world championship was in Kelowna, B.C., in 1986 where she won a silver medal. Sunday’s final was her first since 1988.

“To get up there is easy,” Schoepp said. “To keep it there and repeat it is much more difficult. I know that.”

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