Scotland’s curlers Bruce Mouat and Jen Dodds win gold at the World Mixed Doubles Championship
Scotland’s curlers struck gold at the World Mixed Doubles Championship in Aberdeen, beating Norway 9-7 in a hard fought final.
Bruce Mouat and Jen Dodds defeated Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten in a tense encounter that saw the match decided on a measure.
For Mouat, the victory completes a full set of World Championship medals, while Dodds claimed gold on her debut at the event.
“That was such a tough game,” said Mouat, a silver medallist at the Men’s World Championships in Canada last month.
“We were maybe scrappy for a wee while, but mixed doubles is a game that you can stay in even if you’re down a few. We both felt like we could win it and that’s exactly what happened.”
Having played key roles in qualifying Team GB for both the men’s and mixed doubles disciplines at next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, Scotland’s first victory at a world championship in an Olympic discipline for eight years confirmed that 26-year-old Mouat has fully established himself as a major force in the sport.
This victory at Curl Aberdeen continued a run that has seen the Edinburgh curler win every men’s and mixed doubles tournament he has contested on Scottish ice since the beginning of 2020. The only event he has failed to win this season, in a run that has included victories in two Grand Slams in Canada, was that Men’s World Championship.
“This has just been an incredible season,” said Mouat.
“It’s the most bizarre season we’ve ever had, but we’ve built something pretty good out of it and I’ve had a lot of success the last two months and I can’t thank enough all the parties who have put in so much time and effort into making sure we can curl, from British Curling to UK Sport to the Scottish Institute of Sport to all the coaches and all the players as well.”
None more so, of course, than Dodds who was back in competition in Aberdeen less than a week after returning from Canada, where she had been competing in the Women’s World Championship as part of Team Muirhead.
Edinburgh’s Dodds shook off the disappointment of their failure to reach the play-offs and any jet-lag to perform superbly all week at her first World Mixed Doubles Championship.
“I’m just in shock just now,” she said. “I can’t believe it. We knew that was going to be a really close final. They’re a really great team, so we knew it would go down to the wire. Early on I didn’t have my best game, so we just hung on in there and then at the seventh end taking three in our Powerplay was massive.
“It was almost a wee bit of a momentum swing for the eighth end and Bruce just set up the angles great at the last end and I just had to put a guard up.”
As has been the norm all week, the Scots won the draw shot challenge to start with the hammer and they made another solid start, scoring two at the opening end, but they fell behind when their opponents made better use of last stone advantage at the second end to move 3-2 in front.
When the Scots were then forced at the third, the Norwegians held the initiative and made it count as they scored two at the fourth to move 5-3 at the halfway stage.
The scores were levelled again when the Scots took two at the fifth, but Norway took their Powerplay at the sixth, allowing them to re-establish a two-shot advantage ahead of what proved to be the crucial seventh end.
This time the Scots used their Powerplay and a couple of rare Norwegian mistakes, allied to some excellent shot placement by Mouat, set up a straightforward hit and stick for Dodds to register the three that moved them in front going to the last.
There was still a lot of work to be done to prevent their opponents from scoring the two that would win the match, but Mouat again got the better of Nedregotten as they sought to gain the upper hand in positioning stones around the button and after Dodds guarded the only clear route into the head with her final stone, Skaslien was left only with a high tariff raise double take out to claim the win.
She produced yet another excellent effort which scattered the stones and when they settled, with the button cleared, the measuring stick came out but it was the red Scottish stone that, by millimetres, was the closer of the two that had finished biting the edge of the four foot.