World silver for Whyte, mixed doubles triumph for Aitken/Mouat

 

team whyte world junior silver
Team Whyte with their World Junior silver medals. Pic: facebook.com/TeamWhyte

 

The Olympics may be old news now – the Paralympics have taken the spotlight – but curling goes on with its cycle of competitions.

Aberdeen hosted the World Junior Curling Championships and enjoyed home success in the form of Team Whyte (Ross Whyte, Robin Brydone, Fraser Kingan, Euan Kyle, Duncan McFadzean) taking silver.

They cruised through the round robin stage with nine wins from nine, and then beat Switzerland 5-4 in the semi-finals.

The final proved one step too far, although they fought back well from giving up three and then a steal to trail Canada 5-2 after seven ends.

With two and then a steal, Whyte brought it back to 5-5 and forced an extra end, but they could not pull off a second straight steal as Tyler Tardi made the draw to win gold for Canada.

It was still a brilliant tournament for Whyte, but Scotland women (Rebecca Morrison, Amy MacDonald, Hailey Duff, Leeanne McKenzie, Sophie Jackson) struggled.

Finishing up with three wins and six losses, that means Scotland drop down to the B-Division for next season and so must re-qualify for the main World Juniors event in 2019.

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Meanwhile, it’s been quite a couple of weeks for Bruce Mouat.

He skipped his team to World Championship Playoff victory over Team Smith, and a place in Las Vegas, and now he has returned to mixed doubles in style alongside Gina Aitken.

The pair were on the Continent for the Slovakia Mixed Doubles Curling Cup, and eased through the group stage with five straight wins.

Sykorova/Sykora were seen off 6-2 in the quarter-finals and Naceradska/Bohac beaten 12-5 in the last four.

That set up a decider with Hungarians Szekeres/Nagy, and Aitken/Mouat scored four in the third end on their way to a 9-4 triumph.

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This week has also seen the Brier take place, with Team Gushue defending their title as Team Canada, beating Brendan Bottcher’s Alberta 6-4 in the final to ensure they will be going to Las Vegas for the World Championship.

That event is still a couple of weeks off, but the World Women’s Championship starts this Saturday in North Bay, Canada, where Scotland will of course be represented by Hannah Fleming’s rink.

That event can be followed here.

The Paralympic curling continues this week, too, and Great Britain – skipped by Aileen Neilson – are right in the mix for a playoff place with four wins and three losses.

You can follow the scores from Pyeongchang here.

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