Canada win curling gold at 2018 Audi quattro Winter Games NZ

  • Canada's Brent Laing and Jennifer Jones after their gold medal victory at the WGNZ © WGNZ / Neil Kerr

Canada’s Jennifer Jones and Brent Laing earned gold medals at the 2018 Audi quattro Winter Games NZ being held in Naseby, New Zealand (on Thursday 30 August).

This is Jones’ second international gold medal for Canada in 2018, having claimed the Ford World Women’s title on home soil, in North Bay, in March.

The final featured the Canadian husband and wife duo against Scotland’s Jayne Stirling and Fraser Kingan.

In the first end, Canada opened with four points. Scotland held close, scoring two points in the second end, then forcing Canada to one in the third. The Scots then added three points in the fourth end to level the score 5-5. Canada finished the second half of the championship match strong. They scored two points in the fifth end and stole two consecutive points in the sixth and seventh ends to win 9-5.

“That was not our best, a few too many misses,” said Jones after the medal ceremony. “But, we found a way to make a big shot when we had to. We held ourselves in the game, [we] never really felt like we lost control of it and that’s always key.”

“We’re confident in each other,” Laing continued, “and confident in what we do – but you have to prove that every single time you play. And, while we were also confident that Scotland would play well, they made just a couple of uncharacteristic misses. We played a really good first end and got a big lead. It was fortunate that we did, because we used it up.”

“We had a better second half, Jen made some really big shots, including that huge draw for one against four [Scotland stones] in the third. But, it’s mixed doubles, lots of stuff happens and you just have to react to it and see if you can turn it around in the next end.”

The young Scottish duo shared their thoughts after the final, “If you’d told us at the start of the week that we’d make the final and lose to that Canadian couple we’d have been quite happy,” Kingan said.

“It was probably our best game of the week. We had a poor first end, and missed a nose hit for three in the sixth, and that was about it. We’re quite happy, it was just one of those games, there were quite a few missed shots from both sides. There were a lot of good shots made as well,” he said.

“We really enjoyed it,” added Stirling. “It’s been great to play against them twice this week, really great. We’ve learned a lot from it, and for our first event of the season – a silver medal is great.”

United States pair Sarah Anderson and Korey Dropkin won the broze medals. They previously earned silver medals in the competition in 2015. The Americans beat Norway’s Maia and Magnus Ramsfjell 8-1 after six ends to claim third place.

Dropkin said, “We’re feeling pretty good. We were a little disappointed after this morning’s [semi-final] match, especially with how close it came down to. But, for us the biggest part was just refreshing and refocusing on winning the bronze medal for the US this afternoon, so we’re pretty pleased with how we played.”

“We just had to make sure we were up for it mentally,” said Sarah Anderson, “especially coming up against a team as strong as Norway.”

Earlier in the semi-finals Canada defeated United States 7-5, while Scotland defeated Norway 12-7 to claim their places in the gold medal game.

For more information on the 2018 Audi quattro Winter Games NZ and all the curling results visit:
https://www.curling.org.nz/index.php/2018-wgnz-news

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