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Hasselborg wins 3rd straight GSOC women’s title at Canadian Open

YORKTON, Sask. — Sweden’s Team Anna Hasselborg captured their record-tying third consecutive Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling women’s title in the Meridian Canadian Open.

Team Hasselborg held off Team Min-Jim Kim of South Korea 7-5 in an extra end during Sunday’s final at the Gallagher Centre.

The club of Hasselborg, third Sara McManus, second Agnes Knochenhauer and lead Sofia Mabergs claimed $35,000 plus 12 Pinty’s Cup points.

“Amazing really,” said Hasselborg, who won her fifth GSOC title in total. “To be honest, we struggled this week but what is cool with this team is we find a way to just back up each other and pull out some really great wins. I’m really, really proud of the team effort this week and really proud of how we are putting the playoffs together.”

Team Hasselborg, who finished 2019 winning the KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge and the BOOST National, matched Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan’s mark of three in a row in the women’s division.

“This is crazy like three in a row?” McManus said. “That’s huge. That was a tough game. They played really well and it was like whoever had the most patience out there would win the game. There were a couple of misses in the beginning, we came heavy on a lot of draws and they put pressure on us but that was fun. It’s crazy to say that you’ve won three in a row, right?”

Hasselborg also announced recently she’s pregnant and said it’s super cool to win a Grand Slam title with her future child.

“The baby has a way better record than I have,” Hasselborg said with a laugh. “It’s very cool, I’m so happy I’m feeling as good as I am.”

The 20-year-old Kim had also won a title at the KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge but in the Tier 2 division to earn a ticket into this event.

Hasselborg opened with the hammer and drew for a deuce in the first. The squad maintained the lead with singles back and forth until Kim clawed back with a double for two in six that tied it up 4-4.

“They are so young and so talented,” McManus said. “I think they have a very bright future. We played them at the World Cup last year in the final and we lost. They played very well. I am amazed by how well that team is playing and doing. They have nerves of steel just like being in the final here and their first real Grand Slam since they played in the Tier 2, so I think they have a really bright future. It will be fun to play them again.”

Hasselborg was limited to a single in seven and managed to hold Kim to one in eight as well and force the extra end where an open hit sealed the championship.

“That’s the thing with this week, it’s been a little bit tougher to hold the lead,” Hasselborg said. “I did two not-so-nice shots in six and we knew pretty much from that point it would probably come down to an extra. It was really nice to have the hammer and be in control. I felt pretty comfortable going into the extra because I had that out-turn draw weight in my pocket, so it was a really good end.”

Team Brad Jacobs also made it three GSOC titles in a row after defeating Toronto’s Team John Epping 6-5 for the Meridian Canadian Open men’s championship.

“There’s no doubt these events are extremely difficult to win,” Jacobs said. “It’s hard to win one let alone multiple. The teams are fantastic, especially on the men’s side. There is so much parity among the Canadian men and a few of the Europeans, so it’s difficult. I think we’ve implemented a great game plan that has also attributed to a bunch of success. We’re trying new things all the time, we’re open-minded to trying new things and it has paid off.”

Hasselborg and Jacobs now aim to make it four straight when the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season resumes with the Princess Auto Players’ Championship, April 7-12, at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto.