Jones, Laing stumble in world mixed doubles semis


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Jennifer Jones has fallen short in her bid for another curling world title.

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Jennifer Jones has fallen short in her bid for another curling world title.

The Winnipeg product and her husband, Brent Laing, lost 6-2 to an American duo early Friday in the semifinals of the 2023 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in South Korea.

Cory Thiesse and Korey Dropkin of the United States stole crucial single point in the first and sixth ends, and then a crushing two in the seventh to end Canada’s gold-medal hopes.

Canada’s Jennifer Jones (left) and Brent Laing fell 6-2 to the United States early Friday in the semifinal of the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship. (World Curling Federation / Stephen Fisher)

Jones — a two-time world champion and 2014 Olympic champion in women’s four-player curling — and Laing, who make their home in Horseshoe Valley, Ont., will take on Norway’s Martine Roenning and Mathias Braenden in the bronze-medal game (8 p.m. Friday CT).

“They played very, very well,” said Jones to Curling Canada. “We didn’t put as much pressure as we would have liked. And you know, it just started off with that steal. If I make that draw in the first end, maybe it changes the game a bit. But we’re still really happy with our week, and we had fun out there.”

The U.S. — which, like Canada, has never won a gold medal in world mixed doubles — was on fire, shooting a combined 92 per cent. In round-robin play, teams were better than 90 per cent just four times out of 180 recorded team scores over the past week.

After the first-end steal by the U.S., the teams traded singles the next four ends in a low-scoring affair until the sixth end when Jones again was heavy on her draw. And in the seventh, Jones was trying a risky, last-gasp double-takeout to score a pair, but she wrecked on a guard to give the U.S. the stolen deuce.

“We played much better in the second half of the game, but all the credit to (Thiesse and Dropkin),” said Laing. “I don’t think she missed a shot. I don’t know what the stats say but she never really gave us an opening. The better team won, and unfortunately that wasn’t us today.”

The U.S. will play Japan’s Chiaki Matsumura and Yasumasa Tanida for gold Saturday at 2 p.m. (12 a.m. CT). Japan shaded Norway 5-4 in the other semifinal with a stolen point in the eighth end.

— Staff


Updated on Friday, April 28, 2023 8:03 AM CDT: Adds quote attribution

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