3/17/2006 9:37:34 AM
PINEROLO, Italy (CP) – Skip Chris Daw made two clutch shots in the final end to steal a single point for a 5-4 win over Norway on Friday that sent Canada to the gold medal game in wheelchair curling at the Paralympics.
The game was tied 4-4 in the sixth and final end. Daw, from London, Ont., first did a raise that tapped his own rock into the four-foot ring to count as shot. On his second stone, he threw a perfect guard.
Daw, born without muscles in his legs, then had to hold his breath as Norway’s Rune Lorentsen missed on his final stone to give Canada the win.
Daw and his team of Gerry Austgarden of Westbank, B.C., Gary Cormack of Surrey, B.C., and Sonja Gaudet of Vernon, B.C., will face two-time world champion Britain in Saturday’s final.
Britain defeated Sweden 7-3 in the other semifinal.
This is wheelchair curling’s debut at the Paralympics.
There is no sweeping and rocks are delivered from just in front of the house. Most of the curlers use an extender stick to propel the rocks down the ice.
It’s a game of finesse not strength. If you’re off the line, or don’t have the right weight, there are no sweepers to help you.
The teams are mixed and must have at least one female.
The 2,000-seat arena at Pinerolo, site of the Olympic curling, was about two-thirds full for the semifinals. The crowd was largely comprised of school-aged children, many who continually chanted “Go Canada.”
In other sports Friday, Kimberly Joines of Edmonton finished seventh in the women’s sit-ski giant slalom.
© 2006 Bell Globe Media Inc.