Sweden and Team Niklas Edin win third straight men's world title

Edin becomes first skip to win five men's world championships, while Sweden is only second country to win three consecutive titles

By ZK Goh
Picture by © Copyright: WCF / Jeffrey Au 2021

(Top photo / thumbnail of Niklas Edin: WCF / Jeffrey Au)

Niklas Edin has become the first skip to win five World Men's Curling Championship titles after leading his Swedish rink to a third consecutive crown in the 2021 final in Calgary, Canada.

Edin, a two-time Olympic medallist, led his team to two victories on a busy final day of the Championships which saw five matches take place after the tournament was suspended late on Friday night due to positive coronavirus tests within the bio-secure bubble in Calgary.

The Swedes defeated Scotland and Team Bruce Mouat 10–5 in what was a tight match through eight ends, with the teams locked in a 5–5 tie, before Edin pulled off a double take-out with his last stone of the ninth end to score five points and end the game.

Sweden become just the second country after Canada to have won the title three times in a row.

Backed up by teammates Oskar Eriksson, Rasmus Wranå, Christoffer Sundgren, alternate Daniel Magnusson, and coach Fredrik Lindberg, Edin drew on his team's experience against a Team Mouat playing in their first world final.

"When I made [the double take-out], it was just pure happiness," Edin said to World Curling. "I'm really happy this one worked out."

Edin adds to titles he won previously in 2013, 2015, 2018, and 2019 (with the 2020 Championships cancelled); he is also a seven-time European champion, Sochi 2014 bronze medallist, and PyeongChang 2018 silver medallist.

In the bronze medal match, Switzerland (Peter de Cruz) – playing their third game of the day having beaten the USA 7–6 in a play-off at 11 am local time before losing 11–3 to Edin's Sweden at 4 pm – defeated Sergey Glukhov's Russian Curling Federation team 6–5 with a last-stone draw to the button.

Coronavirus scare in curling bubble

On Friday, three players from eliminated teams, as well as a fourth from one of the five teams still in the playoffs at that point, tested positive – the three in mandatory "exit testing" to be allowed to leave the bubble, and the fourth in subsequent testing of close contacts.

Re-testing on Saturday of anyone deemed a close contact returned negative results, including for the four players; the player in the playoff team had originally been excluded from the remainder of the Championships but was allowed to play following a meeting between Albertan public health authorities, the curling bubble's chief medical officer, the event's medical officer, and representatives from the player's team and National Olympic Committee.

It was determined that as the player had received both doses of a vaccine in his home country before the Championship, and had re-tested negative on Saturday, the risk in allowing him to take the ice was "very minimal", according to a World Curling statement.

However, the playing rules were changed to require masks on ice during play during Sunday's games.