Canada’s quest to threepeat as gold medallists came to fruition on Saturday at the 2022 World Mixed Curling Championship seeing Canada defeat Scotland (10-2; Cameron Bryce) in the final by a 7-4 score.
The Canadian representatives, composed of skip Jean-Michel Ménard, third Marie-France Larouche, second Ian Belleau, lead Annie Lemay and coach Eric Sylvain (11-1; Etchemin/Des Collines, Que.) ran off an impressive ten-game win streak to earn the world mixed top honour.
Ménard and company brought an astounding amount of Canadian and international experience to the table, helping them turn that experience into a gold medal. Ménard is the 2006 World Men’s silver medallist and 2001 Canadian mixed champion, while Larouche and Lemay won the silver medal at the 2006 Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the bronze at the 2009 Scotties as a unit. Larouche is also the 1999 World Women’s Junior bronze medallist.
The four players boast a collective 30 total Canadian national championship appearances at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and Tim Hortons Brier.
After cruising past Switzerland (10-1; Ursi Hegner) by a 9-4 score in Saturday morning’s semifinal thanks to a large score of five in the sixth end, the table was then set for the final versus Scotland.
The final would see Canada start strongly, scoring two in the first with hammer before the Scots would rally back with a three of their own in the second end. Scotland would up the pressure stealing a single in the third before Canada would take two in the fourth, marking a 4-4 tie at half time.
With the two teams deadlocked, Canada would begin to find the chinks in Scotland’s armour rallying of three straight steals of single points in the fifth, sixth and seventh. Canada played a freeze on Ménard’s final shot in the eighth end, leaving Scotland with no possible shot for the win and conceding the game.
The gold medal performance extends Canada’s lead atop the global leaderboard in total medals with four, including gold in 2022 (skip Jean-Michel Ménard, Québec), 2019 (skip Colin Kurz, Manitoba) and 2018 (skip Michael Anderson, Ontario). Canada also won silver in 2017 (skip Trevor Bonot, Northern Ontario).
The mixed championship returned in 2022 after being cancelled in both 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 precautions.
Draw, live scoring, rosters and more information are available here: https://worldcurling.org/events/wmxcc2022