30 January 2019

Sizzling Canada open mixed doubles with shock win

© WCF / Céline Stucki

It was also a fantastic mixed doubles debut for Thomas Ulsrud.

Canada’s Kadriana Sahaidak and Colton Lott pulled off a sensational win over Swiss pair Jenny Perret and Martin Rios in the opening session of Curling World Cup leg three in Jonkoping.

The young couple from Manitoba, Canada admitted nerves beforehand and going down 2-0 in the opening end may have made life more difficult.

But they fought back immediately, taking a deuce in the second end and stealing two in the third to swing the game into their favour.

Perret and Rios, Olympic silver medallists 11 months ago in PyeongChang, did threaten a comeback in the sixth end after securing three points, but Sahaidak and Lott held on to win 8-7 and ensure a dream start in Jonkoping.

"It feels pretty great to win," said the 19-year-old Sahaidak. "We knew coming into this game it was going to be one of the tougher ones against Switzerland, they're here for the third time now so there was some nervousness before the game but it went really well.

"We wanted to win this one first to go into our other games and not have a loss on our back.

"[On the steal of two in end three] Yeah that was a really good end for us, we set up the rocks really well above the house and kept getting them in there giving them harder shots."

Elsewhere, on sheet E, Sweden’s own Camilla and Per Noreen triumphed over Korea’s Hyeri Jang and Chiwon Choi to the appeasement of the local crowd.

The Swedish married couple edged past the Koreans 9-7, despite being 5-1 after three ends.

© WCF / Céline Stucki

Legendary Norway curler Thomas Ulsrud – winner of numerous World and European medals – was making his mixed doubles debut but was in the safe – and hard-working – hands of Kristin Skaslien.

The pair negotiated themselves past Becca and Matt Hamilton from United States to get off to the perfect start.

An error from Matt Hamilton in the sixth end gave Norway a steal of one and Skaslien and Ulsrud eased to their 8-5 victory.

“It was a lot of fun," said a beaming Skaslien. "Mixed doubles is fun, so we needed a couple of ends to find our way and did pretty well after the break.

"Of course, we always want to win – it’s much more fun than losing. We’re going for the win and going for the final on Sunday but there’s a lot of good competition out there.

"Thomas is a fun guy – he’s so easy going. We had a couple of practice games before we came here, but not much. It’s his first time sweeping so I made him really work hard out there! I guess his muscles will be sore on Sunday, but he’s doing good.”

Russia’s Maria Komarova and Daniil Goriachev also begun their week in Sweden in fine fashion with a victory over Cao Chang and Yuan Mingjie of China.

Komarova and Goriachev, silver medallists at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2018, defeated the youthful Chinese pair 6-4, with the three claimed in the penultimate end proving crucial.

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