Canada’s Gushue and Einarson advance to world mixed doubles semifinals

Kerri Einarson, right, and Brad Gushue. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

ABERDEEN, United Kingdom — Canada’s Brad Gushue and Kerri Einarson secured a semifinal berth at the world mixed doubles curling championship on Saturday with a 7-6 extra-end victory over Jenny Perret and Martin Rios of Switzerland.

Needing to draw the button for the victory, Perret’s final throw slightly overcurled to give Canada the steal.

Einarson had forced an extra end by making a remarkable quadruple takeout to clear the four-foot ring and salvage a single point.

“It’s one of the best shots I’ve ever seen,” Gushue said. “You have to throw it really hard to make it and she hit it absolutely perfect. And even then I wasn’t certain it would roll quite far enough, and when I looked up it had rolled just a foot more than we needed.

“It was awesome and I was super impressed.”

Canada trailed 5-1 after four ends but scored three points in the fifth and stole a single in the sixth to pull even.

Canada will next play Bruce Mouat and Jennifer Dodds of host Scotland later Saturday at the Curl Aberdeen facility.

Norway’s Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten beat Italy’s Stefania Constantini and Amos Mosaner 7-5 in the other early qualification game. The Norwegian duo followed with a 7-6 semifinal win over Sweden’s Oskar Eriksson and Almida de Val.

Norway will play the Scotland-Canada winner for gold on Sunday. The semifinal loser will meet Sweden for bronze.

Gushue, from St. John’s, N.L., and Einarson, from Camp Morton, Man., finished round-robin play at 7-2. They are trying to become the first Canadian team to win gold in the event’s 13-year history.

Canada has reached the podium (two silver, one bronze) at the last three editions of the competition.

Joanne Courtney and Reid Carruthers won silver in 2017, Laura Walker and Kirk Muyres took bronze in 2018 and Jocelyn Peterman and Brett Gallant won silver in 2019. Last year’s championship was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 event serves as the main qualifier for mixed doubles at the Beijing Olympics. Gushue and Einarson secured an Olympic berth for Canada on Friday.

Scotland, Italy, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland also locked up Olympic spots. The seventh berth went to the Czech Republic on Saturday afternoon when Tomas Paul and Zuzana Paulova posted an 8-6 win over Tabitha Peterson and Joe Polo of the United States.

The two remaining spots in the 10-team Olympic field will be filled at a last-chance qualifier next season. China gets an automatic Olympic berth as the host country.

Canada’s John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes won gold when mixed doubles made its Olympic debut at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

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