Skaslien and Nedregotten book tickets to Beijing
Norway pull off comeback to topple Switzerland in mixed doubles final
Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten were crowned mixed doubles winners at the Curling World Cup second leg in Omaha after a stirring comeback against Switzerland.
The Norwegian pair hit back after the shock of conceding four in the very first end, clinching three successive steals as Swiss pair Jenny Perret and Martin Rios made errors and failed to capitalise on opportunities for big scores.
At the fourth-end break, Norway had turned that 4-0 deficit into a 5-4 lead and when Skaslien’s delicate take-out earned four in the seventh end, Switzerland shook hands on a 10-5 defeat.
As well as prize money of $USD10,000 ($13,000 including group-stage earnings) and 22 Curling World Cup ranking points, Norway book their ticket to May’s inaugural Grand Final in Beijing where a winners’ cheque for $13,500 is up for grabs.
Switzerland, who were the only rink across all three disciplines to win all six of their group games, must try to qualify for the next Curling World Cup leg in Jonkoping, Sweden, in late January by winning the Swiss title.
"I’m not sure if I’ve realised it yet, it’s a bit surreal," chuckled the ever-smiling Skaslien afterwards. “We had a bad start but mixed doubles is mixed doubles so you always have a chance to come back. I think we were patient, even though they got four in the first end, we were really calm and worked our way back into it.
"[After the first end] I was just trying to think ‘okay, this is just curling, just try to have fun and enjoy this great venue, great ice and enjoy the moment.’”
Nedregotten added: "We were lucky today, we got out of bed with the right foot I guess! After the first end, we managed to stick together and pull it off. We both really wanted to win and the only chance you have it to keep trying after that first end."
Rios’ mood was philosophical: “We just didn't play good curling, that's it!
“We started pretty good, they made a couple of mistakes in the first end. Jenny's last one was a pick in the second, then after that, they just played better.
“We had the chance to score three in seven and we didn't even make two. That would have made it a closer game. That would have been a nice comeback but it didn't work this time. We hope to be back. They were the better team and they deserved to win.”