The early season of Olympic curling qualification continues as the Peter de Cruz foursome have clinched a berth at Beijing 2022.
De Cruz scored a four-game sweep of rival Yannick Schwaller at Switzerland’s men’s Olympic Trials playoff hosted in Biel.
After de Cruz won another bronze medal at the 2021 world championship in Calgary—his fourth since 2014— it was assumed his squad had done enough to warrant selection to Beijing. But the Swiss Curling Association decided otherwise, and declared a best-of-seven playoff between the teams.
The series promised spice. Team de Cruz are the relative veterans, Team Schwaller represents youth. The Swiss-French speakers from Geneva against the Swiss-German speakers from Bern.
In the end, de Cruz won all four matches by scores of 5-4, 9-2, 8-6 and 8-7 in Friday morning’s finale. In the final end, de Cruz trailed 7-6 and fourth-thrower Benoît Schwarz faced a delicate come-around hit on a partially buried Schwaller stone. Schwarz made it to score the winning deuce and de Cruz screamed in victory.
De Cruz, Schwarz, Sven Michel and Valentin Tanner are off to Beijing after capturing Olympic bronze at PyeongChang in 2018. They will be joined by the two-time and defending world women’s champions skipped by Silvana Tirinzoni and the 2018 Olympic silver medalists in mixed doubles, Jenny Perret and Martin Rios. The Swiss Olympic Committee is expected to make it official in the coming days.
This marked the second playoff series of the calendar year between de Cruz and Schwaller. In February, de Cruz beat Schwaller four games to one in a best-of-seven series for the right to play at the 2021 worlds.