With three days of competition completed at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Sochi, Russia, Calgary’s Kalynn Park and Charley Thomas remain at the top of the leaderboard with a 5-0 record.
The Canadian duo, supported by coach Jim Waite, kicked off their game against Spain’s Rantzu Garcia Vez and Gontzal Garcia Vez, the 2014 bronze medallists, with five points in the first end and never looked back. The Spaniards answered with a deuce, then stole a point in three, but a missed take-out allowed Park an open draw for four in the fourth end. Leading 9-3 at the break, the Canadians stole two more ends and walked away with an 11-3 win.
“We made a lot of draws early on and they kind of got behind the eight ball,” said Thomas. “They had trouble making some of their shots – that’s what made the difference.”
“You need to play smart,” said Park about jumping into a lead early. “You need to keep things as open as possible and when you get the opportunity to make a run-back or a double, you take it.”
Against Poland, the Canadians scored one in the first end and stole points in the next two ends. Opponents Karoline Florek and Szymon Molski fought back with a deuce in four to trail 3-2, but Team Canada kept the pressure on, taking five points in the next two ends for an 8-2 win.
On Tuesday, Canada has only one game, against Scotland’s Judith McCleary and Lee McCleary (7:30 a.m. ET).
The round-robin draws for the World Mixed Doubles will run through to April 23 before the playoffs get underway. There are 30 mixed doubles teams split into three pools of 10.
Selected games from the World Mixed Doubles Championship will be streamed live online. Go to the event website, wmdcc2015.curlingevents.com/, to see the games and broadcast schedule. Canada’s game against Scotland (Tuesday, April 21, 7:30 a.m. ET) will be televised.