Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Mixed doubles squad on verge of Olympic spot


Joanne Courtney and Reid Carruthers posted an 8-3 victory over Scotland Friday at the world mixed doubles curling championsh­ip to improve Canada’s chances of qualifying for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

“We were calm and focused heading into that game,” said Courtney.

Edmonton’s Courtney shot 87 per cent, while Winnipeg’s Carruthers finished at 95 per cent.

Canada was hoping to secure an Olympic berth with a quarter-final win over Latvia’s Santa Blumberga and Andris Bremanis Friday night in Lethbridge, Alta. The unbeaten Latvians advanced with a 6-4 win over Sweden’s Camilla Noreen and Per Noreen.

In other early games Friday, China’s Rui Wang and Dexin Ba dumped Russia’s Anastasia Bryzgalova and Aleksandr Krushelnit­ckii 8-3 and South Korea’s Hyeji Jang and Kijeong Lee topped Ireland’s Alison Fyfe and Neil Fyfe 6-3.

The semifinals and final are Saturday.

Meanwhile, world champion Brad Gushue beat Scotland’s Tom Brewster 8-1 Friday afternoon at the Champions Cup in Calgary.

Gushue led 6-0 after three ends and the teams shook hands after the St. John’s skip added a deuce in the fifth. Gushue (4-0) was the lone unbeaten skip in the 15-team men’s field.

In other afternoon games, Sweden’s Niklas Edin scored two points in the eighth end for a 7-4 victory over Greg Balsdon of Kingston, Ont., and Braeden Moskowy dropped a 6-5 decision to Switzerlan­d’s Peter de Cruz in an extra end.

In women’s play, Ottawa’s Rachel Homan beat Russia’s Victoria Moiseeva 5-3 and Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg dumped China’s Bingyu Wang 7-4.

Two more draws were scheduled Friday night. The playoffs begin Saturday at the Grand Slam event and the finals are Sunday.

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