First mixed doubles curling medal claimed by OAR
In the inaugural running at an Olympic Winter Games of mixed doubles competition in curling, the Olympic Athlete from Russia rink swept their way to a bronze medal at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Alexandr Krushelnitckii, an Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR), competed in the Mixed Doubles Curling event that ended on 13 February 2018. The Athlete’s Team ranked 3rd and was awarded the bronze medal. On 22 February 2018, the Court of Arbitration for Sport Anti-Doping Division (CAS ADD) found that the Athlete committed an anti-doping rule violation and decided to disqualify the results obtained by the team of the OAR in Mixed Doubles Curling with all resulting consequences, including forfeiture of the bronze medal.
Anastasia Bryzgalova and Aleksandr Krushelnitckii (OAR) took the ascendancy from the first end at the Gangneung Curling Centre on the way to an 8-4 victory over Norway, collecting the bronze medal after the curling competition’s first-ever mixed doubles final.
The OAR rink took control from the first end and maintained a comfortable lead, taking an unassailable 8-4 (2-0, 1-0, 0-2, 2-0, 0-2, 1-0, 1-0, 1-0) lead at the completion of the eighth end.
"We are very, very happy with this medal. We came here to win an Olympic medal and today we managed to do this and we're very happy," said Bryzgalova.
The Norwegian team of Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten – who are engaged to be married – faced an uphill battle after the first rink went the way of the OAR duo, 2-0.
The Norwegian rink had a chance to level the match in the seventh end, but two misdirected rocks made the task all but impossible.
“I never got it (first rock) in the place I wanted, so we always ended up chasing the Russians from almost every end,” Skaslien lamented afterwards.
“Mixed doubles is about millimetres, it's very little margins. It was tough out there today.”
An exciting new event
Nedregotten said the new mixed doubles format had been very well received. “I like the sport and I feel that people watching it think it's action-packed and there's a lot of emotions since there's only two people. I feel like this is one of the coolest sports, actually,” he said.
Skaslien described the experience of contesting an Olympic final alongside her fiancé as “a real adventure”.
“We've been good friends out there, even though it's been some tough games. We're still good friends, and that's the most important thing.”