Thursday, April 24, 2014

Homan takes home bronze

RIGA, Latvia—Canada’s Rachel Homan entered her first world women’s curling championship full of confidence after a stellar performance at the national playdowns.
The young skip left the tournament with a bronze medal and the invaluable experience of dealing with adversity on one of the sport’s biggest stages.

Homan defeated Erika Brown of the United States 8-6 in the third-place game yesterday morning, just hours after a crushing 8-7 loss to Scotland’s Eve Muirhead in the semifinal a night earlier.
The young Canadian side was able to quickly put the defeat in the past and concentrate on reaching the podium.
“We’ve had to battle back, we’ve had to regroup,” Homan said.
“I think we showed ourselves that we can come back, battle hard and fight to the end.
“I’m really proud of my team, how we played this week and into the playoffs as well,” she added.
Muirhead defeated Sweden’s Margaretha Sigfridsson 6-5 for the gold medal later yesterday to win her first world title.
There were some challenges for the Canadians on this trip. They arrived later than expected after spending an uncomfortable night sleeping on chairs in the Frankfurt airport when bad weather grounded their connecting flight.
Early nerves were a factor and ice conditions were a problem at times. The Canadians were handed some early losses—a rarity this season—and every game seemed like a battle to the final stone.
The low point came when Homan blew a glorious chance to reach the gold-medal game when she missed a double takeout attempt that gave Muirhead the victory in the semifinal.
The Canadians couldn’t hide their dejection after the loss. They had long, expressionless faces in the arena hallway and Homan needed 20 minutes to cool down in the locker-room before eventually providing a few pithy answers to questions from reporters.
Breakfast was optional yesterday and coach Earle Morris saw it as a good sign when everyone showed up at the meal looking to get energized.
“It’s always the toughest game for Canada because you come in here with high expectations and you’re interested in being in the gold-medal game and when you don’t get there you have to regroup,” Morris said.
“We all got together in the room last night, had a glass of wine, talked about it and said, ‘You know what? We have a responsibility to come in with a good performance,” he added.
The Canadians appeared loose and confident against Brown and gave the small crowd an impressive performance.
“It was a hard game to play,” Miskew said.
“It’s not easy to come out after a heartbreaker like last night and play up to the level that you were playing last night in a game that isn’t for gold.
“But we did want to win that bronze medal so we faked it at the start. The faking it turned into more comfort and then we were able to start playing,” she added.
Homan scored three points in the third end and never trailed after that. She nailed a hit for two in the seventh for a comfortable lead down the home stretch.
“She had just a dynamite game and made everything right from the last shot of the first end,” Morris said.
Both teams finished with a shooting percentage of 88 percent. Homan led all players at 94 percent.
“I think everyone was replaying everything in their heads and you have to just park it,” Kreviazuk said.
“You have to let it go and move on to the next challenge and try to win the next one.
“If finding a way to win is putting a smile on your face, kind of trick yourself into being happy then that’s the way you’ve got to do it I guess,” she reasoned
The Canadians will likely take a few days off before preparing for next month’s Players’ Championship in Toronto.
The next big circle on the 2013 calendar is the Olympic qualification event in early December in Winnipeg.

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