Joanne Courtney and Reid Carruthers have given Canada its best ever finish at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, taking silver on Saturday.
Playing on home ice in Lethbridge, Alberta, they had a 5-2 lead over Switzerland’s Martin Rios and Jenny Perret heading into the eighth and final end. With the Swiss lying two, Courtney threw the last Canadian stone but her hit was too thin and ended up sending one of their own out of position. That left the Swiss with an easy draw for four to win the gold medal by a score of 6-5.
The Canadians had had the momentum for almost the entire game. Switzerland had the hammer in the opening end, but the Canadians engineered a steal of one. They then held the Swiss to a single in the second, tying the game.
Courtney and Carruthers had to settle for a single of their own in the third, however that did give them the lead, which they grew by one more in the fourth when they got another steal. They made it back-to-back steals in the fifth end to go up 4-1. The teams then traded singles in the sixth and seventh ends.
Courtney had been hoping to double up on world titles this year, having won gold at the women’s world championship in March as the second for Team Homan.
Courtney and Carruthers had advanced to the final with a 5-4 extra end win over China in the semifinals earlier on Saturday. That ensured Canada would have its best ever result at the mixed doubles worlds, improving on the bronze medal from 2009, which was just the second year of the global championship’s existence.
Canada is now officially qualified for the inaugural Olympic mixed doubles tournament at PyeongChang 2018. The eight-team field also includes China, Finland, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, the United States and host South Korea.
The Canadian representatives will be decided at the national mixed doubles trials in early January 2018.