Canada’s Joanne Courtney and Reid Carruthers downed the previously unbeaten Latvia duo of Santa Blumberga and Andris Bremanis 10-5 in Friday night’s draw at the world mixed doubles championship.
The win clinched a berth for Canada in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where mixed doubles curling will make its debut as a medal sport.
Courtney and Carruthers will play in Saturday’s semifinal against China’s Rui Wang and Dexin Ba, the silver medallists at last year’s world mixed doubles in Karlstad, Sweden.
“These guys are so competitive. They got us to the Olympics, but now they want to win a gold medal,” said national coach Jeff Stoughton. “They know they have unfinished business here, and they want to finish this off on the right note, and I think they have a good shot.”
An 8-3 win over Scotland’s Gina Aitken and Bruce Mouat in the morning draw landed the Canadians in the quarter-final against Latvia.
After giving up a first-end deuce to Latvia, Canada rebounded with a go-ahead three in the second end, a steal of two in the third and one more in the fourth.
Latvia clawed back with two in the fifth end, and stole one more in the fifth. But Courtney’s control-weight outturn takeout hit and stuck for four to prompt handshakes.