Canada and Spain through to the World Mixed gold medal game

  • Spain defeat Russia to make their first ever world gold medal game © WCF / Jeffrey Au

Hosts Canada and Spain have advanced to the gold medal game at the Winn Rentals World Mixed Curling Championship 2018 after two entertaining semi-finals at the Kelowna Curling Club.

Spain advanced to their first ever world level gold medal game after a commanding 6-2 win over Russia.

Spain opened the scoring with two points in the first end before applying constant pressure to Russia for the rest of the game. That pressure resulted in a steal of one point in the second end, then a further steal of two points in the third end.

Russia got on the scoreboard in the fourth end after skip, Alexander Eremin tried to blank the end, but his stone bit on the edge of the 12 foot, giving them a single point.

Spain scored a single point in the fifth end to extend their lead, then with multiple precise take-outs in the sixth end they were sitting four shot stones and forced Russia to draw to the four foot for the single point.

Spain blanked the seventh end, after which Russia conceded with the score 6-2 in Spain’s favour. After the game, a delighted Spanish skip, Sergio Vez said, “We knew we had no pressure, we knew they were the favourites. Also, together with Norway and Canada [in the other semi] we were the underdogs. We just said ‘no pressure, let’s enjoy the game’.”

“We played really well, probably our best game. We were up on the scoreboard and we managed to stick together and not miss and take our time. We believe it, we had nothing to lose, so we didn’t lose!”

“My teammates haven’t had the experience in playing a semi-finals at the world's before. I’ve played twice in mixed doubles, so I knew how it felt. The first time I played I was so nervous that it all went bad. So, I decided to stay calm and focused and take it shot by shot - that was the key of the game. So, we have a medal for Spain, first time in the world mixed! So, we don’t mind playing Canada. We got a medal, we’re going to enjoy the final and we are so, so happy!”

In the other semi-final, Canada defeated Norway 7-3 to progress to their second World Mixed gold medal game in two years.

In a closely contested game, Canada took a narrow lead into the break after Norwegian fourth player and vice-skip, Wilhelm Ness played a precise double take-out to sit two shot stones and force Canada’s Michael Anderson to draw for a single point and the 3-2 lead.

Norway responded in the fifth end with a single point of their own to level the scores, before hitting and rolling out with their last stone in the seventh, giving Canada the opportunity to score two points. Anderson made the draw to the four foot to give Canada a 5-3 lead.

Then in the seventh end, with Canada sitting two shot stones, Ness had a difficult draw to the four foot to score one. However, he was slightly heavy, giving up a steal of two points and giving Canada a 7-3 lead.

Canada then went on to run Norway out of stones in the eighth end for the 7-3 win and a place in this afternoon’s gold medal game. After their win, Anderson said, “As a curler, any event you enter, the objective is to win. And an event that has the words ‘World Championship’ attached, you want to win that much more. And for it to be something that Canada has never done before? There aren’t a lot of firsts left in Canadian curling. So, it would be really cool to have one of those.

“To be honest, it’s the third or fourth game in the last five where we’ve really felt like every end we had something set up, and even if we were off just slightly, the next shot came down and put things back to where we needed to be.

“We’ll be amped up, I’m sure, going into the last game. We’ve never played Spain before; at the end of the day it’s eight rocks vs. eight rocks. It doesn’t matter what the back of the shirt says.”

The medal games will both take place later today at 15.00 PDT and will feature Canada v Spain for the gold medals and Norway v Russia for the bronze medals.

For the final round robin standings and all the scores from the championship visit http://wmxcc2018.worldcurling.org/

To keep up-to-date with all the action from the WMxCC 2018 follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags: #WMxCC2018 #curling