Road To The Olympic Games

Curling

Rachel Homan stays perfect, advances to final of curling worlds

Canada's Rachel Homan has booked her ticket to the final at the women's world curling championship. The Ottawa skip led her rink to a 7-3 win over Russia in today's Page playoff game between the top two round-robin teams in Beijing.

Canada defeats Russia; plays either Sweden or Scotland on Sunday

Rachel Homan's rink defeated Anna Sidorova of Russia 7-3 in the Page Playoff 1-2 draw. 1:51

Canada's Rachel Homan has booked her ticket to the final at the women's world curling championship.

The Ottawa skip led her rink to a 7-3 win over Russia in today's Page playoff game between the top two round-robin teams in Beijing.

The win boosted Homan's record to a sparkling 12-0 at the tournament.

The Canadian, who is backed third Emma Miskew, second Joanne Courtney and lead Lisa Weagle, became the third skip in tournament history to go unbeaten in round-robin play.

Canada's Colleen Jones did it in 2003 in Winnipeg and Sweden's Anette Norberg did it in 2005 in Paisley, Scotland. Jones went on to win silver while Norberg took the gold.

"We've played in lots of finals, we've played in big games and we've come out [of] some big games," Homan told reporters. "If the other team plays a hundred per cent, they're going to be tough to beat. But we're ready."

Russia will have a second chance to qualify for Sunday's gold-medal game in Saturday's semifinal at 7 a.m. ET against either Anna Hasselborg of Sweden or Scotland's Eve Muirhead.

Those two teams face off in the other Page playoff game earlier Saturday.

You always want to bring back gold for your country.— Canadian skip Rachel Homan on reaching the final at women's curling worlds

Homan is making her third career appearance at this event. She won bronze in 2013 in Riga and took silver the next year in Saint John, N.B.

Canada's Colleen Jones did it in 2003 in Winnipeg and Sweden's Anette Norberg did it in 2005 in Paisley, Scotland. Jones went on to win silver while Norberg took the gold.

Reaching the top of the podium has been a motivating factor this week for Homan.

"You always want to bring back gold for your country," she said. "Canada's been missing it for a while, so we're really trying to give it everything we have."

Added Miskew: "We're really happy that we put ourselves in a position where we know we're getting a medal now. Nothing to lose, we can just go out and play our game."

Against Russia's Anna Sidorova, Homan took the early lead with one in the second end. She had an open draw for a deuce but was heavy on her shot, perhaps her only outright missed draw of the week.

Quick answer

"It was definitely different [ice conditions]; it was the quickest we've seen it," Homan said. "And it's all stuff that we'll learn from and take forward into the final."

Sidorova responded with two in the third only to see Homan collect her own deuce one end later and a steal of one in the fifth.

The skips exchanged singles in the sixth and seventh ends before Homan stole singles in the eighth and ninth to secure the win.

"I think we made a lot of key shots that game," said Miskew. "The ice was a little different than it has been all week and that always happens in the playoffs when there's only one game out there. But I thought we did a nice job of making the right shots when we needed to."

Sidorova shot just 69 per cent on the day while Homan was at 90 per cent.

"I think the team felt too nervous," Sidorova said. "The good thing about qualifying in first or second place is you have two chances to go to the final. We still have a chance."

Switzerland entered the tournament as the three-time defending champion but skip Alina Paetz did not make the playoffs after posting a 5-6 round-robin record.

With files from CBC Sports

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