Home NEWS World Canada clinches 1st in mixed doubles curling heading into semifinals – National

Canada clinches 1st in mixed doubles curling heading into semifinals – National

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GANGNEUNG, Korea, Republic Of – Canada’s Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris clinched first in round-robin play in mixed doubles curling on Sunday at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The Canadians beat South Korea’s Hyeji Jang and Kijeong Lee 7-3 to finish the round robin 6-1.

Lawes and Morris dropped the first game of the tournament to Norway 9-6 on Thursday before reeling off six straight victories.

“One thing I really like about our team is that we learn very quickly,” said Morris. “We haven’t had a lot of time together but we communicate very effectively so we learnt from that game. I didn’t play well so it was mostly, ‘What do I have to do to get better?”‘

READ MORE: Canada’s mixed doubles curlers win 4th straight at Pyeongchang Games

After Korea tied it 2-2 with a deuce in the third end the Canadians replied with a deuce in the fourth and never looked back.

Eight teams are taking part in mixed curling at the Olympics, with the top four qualifying for the medal round.

Canada had already locked up a semifinal berth with an 8-2 win over Olympic Athletes from Russia on Saturday.

The Canadians will play the fourth-place team on Monday. That opponent will be determined by a tiebreaker between China and Norway.

“Our goal was just to get to the playoffs and so we’re there right now,” said Morris. “We have a slight advantage having the hammer but we know that both China and Norway are great teams and we’re going to get a really tough match in that semifinal and we’re going to prepare for a grind in that semi. We wouldn’t expect anything else.”

READ MORE: Winnipegger Kaitlyn Lawes records first mixed doubles win at Winter Olympics

Traditional men’s and women’s curling has been at the Olympics since 1998, but mixed doubles – a faster and sometimes seemingly more chaotic incarnation of the sport – is making its debut at the 2018 Winter Games.

“What a great opportunity to showcase this new sport of mixed doubles and to be a part of it is such an honour,” said Lawes.

Each team is comprised of one male and one female, and there are six stones in play instead of the usual eight. Games are eight ends instead of 10.

Canada has made the mixed doubles podium just twice at the world championships, grabbing a silver in 2017 and a bronze in 2009.

Ottawa’s Morris won Olympic gold in 2010 playing third for Kevin Martin, while Winnipeg’s Lawes topped the podium in 2014 as vice for Jennifer Jones.

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