GANGNEUNG, South Korea – Already owners of Olympic gold in the women’s and men’s event, Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris won the inaugural mixed curling competition at the Winter Games on Tuesday night, riding a four-point third end to a 10-6, six-end victory over Switzerland.
Originally set to team up with Rachel Homan until she won the women’s trials to earn a spot in the Pyeongchang bonspiel, Morris instead partnered with Lawes, who survived a slow start at the mixed trials to qualify for 2018.
Their opener at the Gangneung Curling Centre didn’t go to plan, falling 9-6 to Norway, but the Canadians ran the table from that point forward, including a 7-2 win preliminary round win over the Swiss duo of Jenny Perret and Martin Rios, the reigning world champions.
Lawes and Morris were in control from the outset and put a stranglehold on the gold medal with a four-spot in the fourth end. Canada was lying five with one rock to go thanks to a Rios flash, but Perret pushed out two rocks on her last throw. Still, Lawes made a tap for four to open up a 6-2 lead.
Perret and Rios called it in the sixth end, during which they were at one point lying four. But a Morris shot to the four-foot put some heat on the Swiss, another Rios miss pushed the Canadian rock closer, Lawes set up a possible steal of two with her final shot and Perret couldn’t avoid the steal with the hammer.
That made it 10-3 and prompted the Swiss to shake hands.
Canada has won a medal in every Olympic curling competition since the sport debuted in 1998, the men and the women combining to win five gold, three silver and two bronze medals.
Morris, of Ottawa, won gold as vice-skip for Kevin Martin at the 2010 Vancouver Games, while Lawes, from Winnipeg, was the third on the Jennifer Jones team that went 11-0 en route to gold at the Sochi Olympics.