Murrayfield curler Gina Aitken and Ayrshire’s Scott Andrews claimed their first title in only their third tournament together after winning the Sochi International Mixed Doubles final in Russia.
The Scots were runners-up at the Austrian Cup in Kitzbuhel last month, but they went one better in Sochi, where Andrews won an Olympic silver medal with David Murdoch’s team in 2014.
Aitken and Andrews trounced English duo Anna and Ben Fowler 11-4 in the semis, but the final was always going to be far tighter against home favourites Maria Komarova and Daniil Goryachev.
The Muscovites went 3-2 up after counting three stones at the third end, only for Aitken and Andrews to re-take the lead immediately. They stretched their advantage to 7-3 before surviving a late Russian fightback to win 7-6.
Aitken said: “It was fantastic to be playing in an Olympic venue and it’s really positive that Scott and I have managed to achieve this so early in our first season together. I feel like all our training through the summer months has helped to get us up and running so quickly.”
Andrews said: “I was determined not to get another silver medal!. The combination of Gina’s experience in mixed doubles and mine in men’s curling has seen us gel nicely. We’ve been working well and this victory shows what Gina and I can achieve.”
They are back on the ice at another mixed doubles tournament in Bern, Switzerland on Friday.