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Russia topples Canada to win 2016 Ford Worlds bronze

SWIFT CURRENT — For Russia, it was its third consecutive bronze medal in world women’s curling play. For Canada, it was a disappointing end to a good week.

Canada’s Chelsea Carey lost both her games on the weekend at the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, presented by Meridian Manufacturing. Both losses came against Russia’s Anna Sidorova, including Sunday’s 9-8 thriller.

The loss Sunday not only left Carey out of the medals, but it cost her, at least temporarily, a golden opportunity.

A win would have given Carey and her team of third Amy Nixon, second Jocelyn Peterman, lead Laine Peters, alternate Susan O’Connor and coach Charley Thomas, a berth in the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials. The event will decide Canada’s four-player teams for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Carey will still have numerous other opportunities to qualify for the Trials, which will be held in Ottawa in December 2017, including a return trip to the 2017 Scotties in St. Catharines, Ont., where the Carey team will be Team Canada.

“I’m not going to lie, I’m gutted,” a tearful Nixon told the media. “It’s one of the hardest losses of my career personally. It happens and it’s just a sport, but right now that’s hurting.

“That is one that is going to be hard to forget. I have to be proud of our fight for sure, but I am so not happy with not being on the podium, I’m not going to lie about that.”

Team Canada's Amy Nixon was showing her Easter spirit on Sunday. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Team Canada’s Amy Nixon was showing her Easter spirit on Sunday. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Nixon, who won a bronze medal at the 2006 Olympics, said it is hard to think about next season now.

“It took me 10 years, man, to get back in this situation. It’s a huge dream personally. I have other things that are demanding in good ways. For me to put in what I’ve put in again and again, it is exhausting mentally for me to even imagine getting back, honestly.

“I feel like this maybe was my chance. And certainly I am looking forward to standing with the girls (at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts) next year in St. Catharines … these chances don’t come very often in many people’s careers and I am well aware of that.”

Carey said representing Canada and playing in Swift Current were amazing.

“I couldn’t ask for more than that, other than standing on the podium,” she said. “That’s what we wanted, but it’s been an amazing week and Swift Current is just incredible. The crowds and the whole city have been absolutely awesome to us all week.”

Canada got behind by as many as three points against Russia in the bronze-medal game, but showed no quit.

A deuce in the sixth and a steal of two in the seventh gave Canada its first lead of the weekend. Up 6-5 playing eight, Canada got in all kinds of trouble in an eighth end that was played around and on the button. Sidorova made two dandy draws to count three and go up 8-6 playing the ninth end.

Canada battled back in nine. Carey made an outstanding takeout with her final rock in the ninth end to count two and tie the game 8-8 coming home.

The 10th end didn’t set up well for Canada.

Team Canada's Chelsea Carey calls sweeping instructions during the bronze-medal game. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Team Canada’s Chelsea Carey calls sweeping instructions during the bronze-medal game. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

When Carey went to throw her final rock, there were no guards out front, forcing her to play in the four-foot. Carey’s shot rock was open at the side of four-foot. Sidorova chipped the Canadian rock out of the four-foot for the win.

“We said we wanted to stand together and fight and never give up and battle to the end, and we did that. We would have loved to have come out on top, but we did what we said we wanted to do and it just wasn’t our day.”

Sidorova was naturally happy with the win.

“Even though it is our third time in a row when we get a bronze medal at the worlds, it’s still a medal,” Sidorova said. “We’re happy especially after the loss (to Japan) in the semifinal. We are so tired and our main goal for this game was to stay alive because mentally we were dead after yesterday.”

She complimented Team Canada on the game.

“They played really great today and made us nervous.”

Sidorova is backed by third Margarita Fomina, second Alexandra Raeva, lead Nkeiruka Ezeh, alternate Alina Kovaleva and coaches Svetlana Kalalb and Rodger Schmidt.

The gold-medal game between Switzerland’s Binia Feltscher and Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa will be played at 3 p.m. MDT at the Credit Union iplex.

For the complete results, standings, the schedule and much more, visit http://www.curling.ca/2016worldwomen/

This story will be posted in French as soon as possible at http://www.curling.ca/2016worldwomen/?lang=fr

TSN (RDS2 in French), the exclusive television network for Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will provide complete coverage of the 2016 Ford Worlds.