What a day for mixed doubles curling at the Olympic Winter Games.
Australia won their first two games – after a stunning last-minute re-entry – to knock out silver medalists Switzerland (3-5) and then thrash Canada to a three-way tie for the second. place at 5-3 with Great Britain. and Norway.
Team GB and the Norwegians have qualified for the semi-finals, while Canada is not quite there yet, thanks to poor results in the draw of the last stone of pre-competition.
Italy are massively ahead of the pack with an 8-0 record, following a win over China (8-4) and an insane evening triumph over Sweden (12-8).
It was a stunning day for the Aussies as they were kicked out of the competition before being reinstated and then won both games to finish their first Olympics in curling at 2-7.
“The last 24 hours have been a rollercoaster to say the least,” said Tahli Gill after the win over Switzerland.
The much-anticipated match between students and mentor began across Australia, as the Canadians fell to a gargantuan 7-0 hole and with their power play already used up.
A mad hour later it was 8-7 for Australia, and Gill faced a hit-and-stay for the win – although a draw at the eight-foot rings also beckoned – which she missed, forcing an 8-8 tie and an extra fine.
The see-saw affair came to an end on Rachel Homan’s final draw attempt, which fell wide and heavy.
Norway’s day was also A-plus, with must-win wins over Sweden (6-2) and Great Britain (6-2).
It was a brutal day for Canada, with the loss to the Australians following another upset loss to the Czech Republic. The Czechs, Swiss and USA are all 3-5 with China at 2-6.
Sweden are shocked at 5-4 but still have a chance for the playoffs, which depends on Monday morning’s results.
Monday’s round robin final will see Norway take on Switzerland, Great Britain take on the United States, China take on the Czech Republic and Canada take on Italy in a playoff qualifier for Canadians.
“Personally, I don’t know anything about (Italy),” Homan told CBC after the game against Australia. “I know they’re really big.
“They crush people like they’ve been here for 20 years.”