Tirinzoni and Switzerland successfully defend world women's curling title with win over RCF

Team USA won a historic bronze as the Swiss claim their sixth title in the last nine editions with victory in the 2021 final in Calgary

By ZK Goh
Picture by © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

Switzerland have now won six World Women's Curling Championship titles in the last nine years after Team Silvana Tirinzoni successfully retained their crown by defeating the Russian Curling Federation (RCF) in the 2021 final in Calgary, Canada.

Tirinzoni, supported by 2015 world champion skip Alina Pätz as the rink's fourth player, led her team to a 4-2 win over Alina Kovaleva's RCF side playing in their first Worlds final under their current skip.

It was a tight and tactical low-scoring contest. Switzerland took the lead in the opening end, with RCF levelling the scores in the third frame as Kovaleva missed an easy draw to take the lead. Pätz then scored two on a double take-out in the fourth end to give Switzerland a lead they would not relinquish.

Kovaleva got a point back in the eighth end on a tap, but with Switzerland having the hammer advantage in the final tenth end after a blank ninth, the comeback was not likely. The RCF skip missed her final shot which left a Swiss stone in scoring position for the win.

The Swiss have now won World Women's titles in 2012, 2014-2016, 2019, and 2021, drawing level with Sweden on eight championship wins behind only Canada (17).

Speaking to World Curling, Tirinzoni said after the final: "She (Alina) is not going to miss too many of those (last rocks), so having hammer coming home is a good feeling. I was quite confident.

"We can't wait to go home and bring that cup back home to Switzerland."

In the bronze medal final, Tabitha Peterson's United States rink delivered their country's first World Women's medal since silver in 2006 by defeating Olympic champions Team Anna Hasselborg of Sweden.

Hasselborg conceded the match at the conclusion of the ninth end trailing by four points, with the USA winning 9-5 for their first bronze medals at the World Women's Curling Championship and just the country's seventh ever (one gold, five silver).

Olympic qualifying picture in women's curling

It was a disappointing year for hosts Canada, who saw Kerri Einarson's team eliminated by Hasselborg in the qualifying play-off.

For just the third time since the women's world championship was introduced in 1979, both the Canadian men and Canadian women failed to make the world final in the same year.

The last time this happened was in 1992, when Switzerland defeated Scotland in the men's final and Sweden beat the U.S. for the women's title.

However, Canada's top-six finish in both events was enough to book a spot at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

Seven of the ten teams that will play in Beijing are now confirmed – Canada are joined by hosts China and fellow top-six finishers Switzerland, RCF/ROC, USA, Sweden, and Denmark.

However, Scotland's surprise eighth-place finish under Olympic veteran Eve Muirhead means Great Britain, bronze medallists at Sochi 2014, will need to qualify through a final Qualification Event in December.