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Japan and Scotland are the World Junior curling champions for 2022.

Only one deuce was scored in the women’s final in Jonkoping, Sweden and it happened in the fourth end, lifting Japan’s Sae Yamamoto into a 3-2 lead over Swedish skip Moa Dryburgh.

After swapping singles, Japan added a critical steal in the seventh end to pad a 5-3 lead.

Sweden was then forced to a point in the eighth, and Yamamoto’s single in the ninth made it 6-4 for Japan. When Dryburgh missed a last-chance runback in the 10th, Japan added a final steal of one for the 7-4 victory.

The historic gold marks Japan’s first-ever world championship title, in any discipline.

Japan’s previous top result at the world junior women’s championship came from Akiko Katoh, who won two silver medals in 1998 and 1999, while adult women’s silver was won by Satsuki Fujisawa in 2016.

The highest world championship finish for Japan’s men and junior men is fourth place.

“I was so surprised,” said an emotional Yamamoto through a translator. “I’m so speechless. I still can’t believe that my dream came true.”

Yamamoto was supported by fourth thrower Miyu Ueno, Eri Ohihara, Yui Ueno and alternate Yuina Miura. The team hails from Nagano, host city of the 1998 Olympic Winter Games.

Swedish skip Moa Dryburgh is the daughter of two Olympians from those 1998 Games, Great Britain’s James Dryburgh and Sweden’s Margaretha Dryburgh (née Lindahl).

In the women’s bronze medal game, USA’s Delaney Strouse defeated Norway’s Eirin Mesloe 10-6.

Earlier, Scotland’s James Craik made short work of Benjamin Kapp’s German squad with a 7-1 victory to capture the men’s gold medal.

Cheyenne Boone-WCF

Cheyenne Boone-WCF

“(It’s) crazy right now,” said Craik, who was backed by Angus Bryce, Scott Hyslop, Niall Ryder and alternate Jack Carrick. “I don’t really quite believe it just now. I’m just so proud of the boys. They came out and shot the lights out there, played so well.

“That was one of our most clinical performances there, we’re really, really happy.”

The victory marked Scotland’s 11th gold medal in 47 world junior men’s championship appearances. The previous win came in 2016 under skip Bruce Mouat.

Canada’s Owen Purcell was equally ruthless in the bronze medal game, scoring a 13-4 win over Norway’s Grunde Buraas.