Elmira curler part of On­tario team that took sil­ver at na­tion­als

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - LIZ BE­VAN

THIS CLOSE TO WIN­NING the gold medal, Sue Martin of the Elmira Curl­ing Club, along with the rest of Team On­tario, took home sil­ver at the 2017 Hy-Grade Steel Roof­ing Cana­dian Mas­ters Curl­ing Cham­pi­onships in Guelph last week.

Martin, and her team, skip Dale Cur­tis from St. Thomas, third Rose­mary Gow­man and sec­ond Brenda Clark from Galt Curl­ing Club, had never been to na­tion­als be­fore, and ended up fac­ing off against cham­pi­ons Team Saskatchewan in their fi­nal game of the week.

Af­ter some ini­tial dis­ap­point­ment in the loss, the women re­flected on how well they had done in their de­but show­ing. They had beaten Team Saskatchewan in the round robin ear­lier in the week.

“Los­ing the fi­nal, that was a huge dis­ap­point­ment for our team be­cause we had a great week. But win­ning a sil­ver medal in our first ap­pear­ance at this na­tional event is def­i­nitely some­thing that we are proud of. Even though there was that ini­tial dis­ap­point­ment, we are still proud of our ac­com­plish­ments,” she said.

Their fi­nal game didn’t go their way, how­ever.

“Saskatchewan was hot and we weren’t. They dom­i­nated the whole game. They say curl­ing is a game of inches, and I have to say, Saskatchewan was al­ways on the right side of the inch. We strug­gled a bit,” said Martin. “It is not good to have your off-game in the fi­nal, but you never know how it is go­ing to turn out.”

The team did well in the round robin, win­ning all but two games, against Team Bri­tish Columbia and Team Man­i­toba.

“We were up and down in the round robin, even though we won a num­ber of games, I can’t say we played our very best there. As peo­ple say, the W is what counts. In the semi­fi­nals, we played against B.C.,” said Martin.“We only had two losses in the round robin and that was one of them. We had just played them as our last game in the round robin, so we met them again right away in the semi­fi­nal. Again, it was a very close game. It was back and forth, and they ac­tu­ally went on to win the bronze medal af­ter play­ing against Man­i­toba, who was our other loss.”

Out­side of hit­ting the rinks, Martin says the tour­na­ment it­self was a great ex­pe­ri­ence.

“You know, with curl­ing, it is a sport where you sit down with a team after­wards and you do so­cial-

ize, talk­ing about them, where they came from and a lot of other sports don’t have that same kind of so­cial at­mos­phere. We had a lot of time to visit with peo­ple from across Canada, learn about their cities, where they came from and what com­pe­ti­tion they had to face to get to na­tion­als,” she said. “We met some won­der­ful peo­ple through this ex­pe­ri­ence though. Guelph Curl­ing Club put on a fab­u­lous com­pe­ti­tion. They were able to do that through the spon­sors. They had great spon­sors. They had about 150 vol­un­teers work­ing at the event all week, that is why they were able to put on such a great event. Ev­ery­one was just amazed.”

Martin says the team would love to de­fend their sil­ver medal at next year’s na­tional con­test, be­ing held in B.C., or even to go for the gold, but com­pe­ti­tion is high to rep­re­sent On­tario in the Mas­ters cat­e­gory.

“As you are there and you are talk­ing to the other curlers from across Canada, to get there from On­tario is the hard­est. We have more teams en­tered in On­tario than any other prov­ince or ter­ri­tory,” she said. “For ex­am­ple, this year, there were 33 teams that started com­pe­ti­tion in On­tario. The skill level is high, as well. We would love to win that again and go back to na­tion­als, meet­ing the won­der­ful women that we curled with from across Canada, but we know it isn’t go­ing to be easy to do.”

[LIZ BE­VAN / THE OB­SERVER]

Sue Martin with her sil­ver medal from the na­tional curl­ing cham­pi­onships held last week in Guelph.

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