Shot at double gold!

Martin Gavin, right, and Kris Granchelli sweep a stone for Team Canada at the 2024 World Senior Championships. (Photo, World Curling/Stephen Fisher)

Both Canadian teams win their semifinals at World Senior Championships

OESTERSUND, Sweden — Canada’s teams will get a shot at defending the titles won last year when they play in Saturday’s men’s and women’s gold-medal games at the 2024 World Senior Curling Championships.

Team Paul Flemming of Halifax needed an extra end to defeat two-time World Senior champ Mats Wrana of Sweden in men’s semifinal play Friday night at the Oestersund Arena, while Team Susan Froud of Alliston, Ont., had an easier time of it in women’s semifinal play, dispatching Team Karen Kennedy of Scotland 10-3.

The gold-medal games Saturday at 4:30 a.m. Eastern will see Team Flemming (8-0) up against Team Mike Farbelow of the United States (6-1), while Team Froud (7-0) will play Team Virginija Paulauskaite of Lithuania (6-1) in a rematch of a round-robin game six days ago that Canada won 6-3.

A year ago, Team Howard Rajala of Ottawa and Team Sherry Anderson of Saskatoon claimed gold for Canada.

Flemming needed to make a precise tap with his final rock in the extra end of a superb game against the home-country favourites.

Moments afterward, the notion of being Team Canada in a gold-medal game at a world championship still hadn’t sunk in for Flemming. 

“It will, it will,” said Flemming with a smile. “It was more about just trying to take care of business tonight. that was a lot of fun. That was a great game.”

The Swedes had tied it in the eighth when Wrana made a wonderful wide draw to barely outcount a Canadian stone and put a game-tying two on the board.

In the extra, though, Flemming made both of his precision taps, and both aided by wonderful sweeping from his front end of Kris Granchelli and Martin Gavin.

That sweeping came at the end of the first two-game day for Canada, which earlier defeated Norway’s Flemming Davanger 9-6 in a quarterfinal that went down to the wire.

And for Granchelli, it just added to the wear and tear on his body; in the first end, he wrenched his back, and later in the game he slipped while sweeping and landed hard on his knee.

But he was feeling no pain after the win over Sweden.

“I’m feeling pretty incredible,” said a happy Granchelli. “Yeah, I took a pounding. There was a lot of sweeping involved and it was a long day for us, but I’m feeling absolutely incredible right now.”

Along with vice-skip Peter Burgess and alternate Kevin Ouellette, Team Flemming gets a shot at winning Canada’s leading 14th gold medal in the 21-year history of the event; Canada has played in every World Senior Men’s gold-medal final.

And for players like those on Team Flemming, who’ve entered countless playdowns chasing curling’s holy grail, this opportunity is particularly meaningful.

“It’s pretty emotional,” said Granchelli, his eyes showing those emotions clearly. “It’s something you dream of. And, and you know, we were about an inch away from it not happening (on Flemming’s final shot). It would be the cherry on the top of a long career with a lot of passion and a lot of hard work.”

The U.S. was a 10-4 winner over Germany’s Team Andy Kapp in the other semifinal.

The emotions were much the same for Team Froud, which is rounded out by vice-skip Kerry Lackie, second Kristin Turcotte, lead Julie McMullin, alternate Jo-Ann Rizzo and coach Al Corbeil.

There wasn’t the tension that the men’s game featured, as Canada scored four in the second end and never looked back.

Canadian skip Susan Froud delivers a stone during the World Seniors. (Photo, World Curling/Stephen Fisher)

But the same attention to detail and focus on the task at hand that has carried the Canadian champs to seven straight wins here was evident against the Scots.

Of all the Canadian players, Turcotte knows best about the opportunity at hand for Team Canada on Saturday,

Thirty-four years ago, in Vasteras, Sweden — a seven-hour drive south of Oestersund — she was throwing third rocks for Alison Goring’s Canadian team that won a bronze medal at the 1990 World Women’s Championship.

“We lost the semifinal there, so I’m already one better,” she said with a laugh. “We just have to bear down and focus tomorrow; take an extra breath in the hack when you need to. Winning would mean everything. It’s why you curl — you try to go as far as you can.”

Lithuania downed Switzerland’s Team Daniela Ruetschi-Schlegel 5-2 in the other semifinal.

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For the list of teams, draw information and live scoring, visit the event website,

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