February 12, 2018 / 3:13 AM / 3 months ago

Curling - Canadians avenge loss to setup golden date

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) - Canada avenged an earlier loss to Norway to produce a controlled 8-4 victory in their Winter Olympics mixed-doubles curling semi-final on Monday.

Curling – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Mixed Doubles Semi-final - Canada v Norway - Gangneung Curling Center - Gangneung, South Korea – February 12, 2018 - Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris of Canada celebrate. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes dropped their opening match to Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten but have been unbeaten since and will face either Switzerland or Olympic Athletes from Russia for the gold medal on Tuesday.

Canada led from the start scoring two points in the first end before the Norwegians hit back with one point in each of the second and third.

Lawes and Morris, who have won separate Olympics golds in curling, quickly turned a nail-biter into a runaway victory scoring two points in the fifth end and three in the seventh to clinch at least a silver.

“It was a high pressure game but that’s what I live for, I love playing those games and the juices were flowing today,” said Morris, who was part of the men’s gold medal team at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Curling – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Mixed Doubles Semi-final - Canada v Norway - Gangneung Curling Center - Gangneung, South Korea – February 12, 2018 - John Morris of Canada reacts. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

“Mixed doubles you have to play a full eight ends.

“So I wasn’t sweating it that we were missing a few chances.

“This is where we wanted to be, we know we are going to have a heck of battle in the final no matter who we play.

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“We are going to be as prepared as we can.”

Mixed-doubles is making its debut as an Olympic event at the Pyeongchang Games.

The teams play just a maximum eight ends as opposed to 10, and there is no shot-calling skip as in the four-player, single sex format of the sport.

“It certainly helps to have played in big games,” said Lawes, a member of Canada’s gold medal women’s team in Sochi.

“I’m just so proud the way we came together in such a short period of time.

“Canada hasn’t (had) a tonne of success at mixed doubles so we want to try a new generation of curlers and so how much fun the sport is.

“Mixed doubles is so popular internationally and the fact we can help grow the sport is huge.

“Fans are loving it because it is fast scoring and high paced.”

Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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