BEIJING, China – The Canadian men’s curling team was still reeling from its loss in the Beijing Olympics semi-finals when it received a tip that would give it the motivation it needed to win the bronze medal.
Mark Kennedy, who was a reserve with the quartet, talked about how finishing third would have changed his Olympic experience four years ago. He had just missed the podium by losing the bronze medal match to Kevin Coe.
Canadian player Brad Josho said chatting in the locker room gave his team the energy to beat American John Schuster 8-5 to win the bronze medal on Friday.
“That’s why we gave everything we had in this match,” Joshwi said. It’s the hardest game I’ve had in my career because I wanted to give 100 percent, but I wasn’t 100 percent. »
This bronze medal is the only one Canada has won in curling in Beijing. Britain’s Bruce Mowat and Sweden’s Niklas Aden will compete for the gold medal on Saturday.
Guccio and Mark Nichols won gold at the 2006 Turin Games. Jeff Walker and Brett Gallant won the first Olympic medals of their careers.
“I think our team fought hard and persevered to win the bronze medal,” Joshui said. It was clear to all the curling fans that we weren’t at our best this week. I am very proud to be on the podium. »
After some hugs and photos taken on the ice, the quartet was much happier and prouder than the day before they appeared in front of the reporters.
“Obviously I would have preferred the gold, but we also could have come out of here empty handed,” Nichols recalls. This bronze would be perfect alongside my gold (from Turin), and there aren’t many people who can brag about owning two. »
Encouraged by the women’s national curling team, Canada started the match with two points in the first end and held the lead until Schuster and his team led 5-4 at the sixth end.
In the seventh finish, with two American Stones at home, Gushue had one of his best shots of the game. Her rock knocked the two off Shuster and left the house to let Canada keep the hammer.
The Canadian team came back two points at the eighth end, but Josho could have scored another point. His stone was sent with great force and did not stop closer to the center than the stone of the Americans.
After trailing 6-5, the US team missed a great opportunity to tie the match and deprived their opponent of two points. Shuster slipped the Gushue Stone into the four-foot-high ring, but it didn’t slide far enough.
At the tenth and final finish, the Americans ran out of rocks to be forced into overtime and shook hands with the Canadians when Gushue doubled down.
Schuster and his men were the Olympic champions, having triumphed at the Pyeongchang Games in 2018.
Gushue finished third in the overall standings with a score of 5-4. But he lost in the semi-finals to Eden.
The US (5-4) also managed to slip into the semi-finals, having finished fourth as Robin. They lost to Mowat to go down to the bronze medal match.
It was Canada’s first curling medal at the Beijing Olympics. John Morris and Rachel Homan did not participate in the mixed curling qualifiers, while Jennifer Jones and her quartet missed the women’s championship medal round.
An unexpected final in the women’s championship
The Women’s Final will see Great Britain vs Japan.
The British team dominated in the semi-finals the Swedish team (12-11), the three-time Olympic champion who has always reached the final of the tournament at the Games since 2006.
They had also finished second in the preliminary round, ahead of the British (3), but the latter had already swept them 8-2 in the first round.
Switzerland, the best team in the preliminary round, was also surprised by Japan (8-6) in the other semi-final.
The Japanese are chasing their first curling title at the Games, having won the bronze medal in 2018.
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