Scots Miss Out On Bronze At World Mixed Doubles Champs

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Scotland just missed out on the medals at the World Mixed Doubles Championship in Karlstad when they were beaten by the USA in a hard fought third placed play-off.

Bruce Mouat and Gina Aitken made an encouraging start to that bronze medal match when they took a three at the second end to move into a 3-1 lead, but conceded the initiative when their opponents, Tabitha Peterson and Joe Polo, racked up a four at the next end and it looked as if the Americans were in total control when they then stole a two to move 7-3 ahead at the halfway stage.

However as they had done throughout the tournament the Lothians youngsters showed their fighting spirit to take the match to the wire, registering a three at the fifth and stealing at the sixth to level the scores, then giving themselves a chance to win it at the last after they forced their opponents to take a single at the penultimate end. However a perfectly executed raise onto the button by Peterson gave the USA the upper hand midway through the final end since it was well protected and the Scots were unable to shift it, so conceded the steal and the match.

Mouat’s bid for a second world title this season, having already won the World Junior Championships, had ended at the semi-final stage but their overall campaign represented a breakthrough since it was the first time a Scottish team had contested the medal matches.

That was all the more important because of Mixed Doubles’ new status as an Olympic discipline which meant that for the first time qualifying points were at stake.

They had opened their bid in what was a tough qualifying pool with a win against the Russian pair who were to go on to claim the gold medal, beating China – who had beat Scotland 7-5 in the semis -in the final and that was one of several memorable wins for the Scots.

Having lost to the Czech Republic in the round-robin stages they then, thanks to a brilliant final stone by Aitken, beat them in a tie-break match to get into the play-offs where their defeat of defending champions Hungary in their last 16 encounter was the result of a fine comeback as they levelled the match with a two at the penultimate end before masterfully out-manoeuvring their opponents with a near perfect final end to steal.

The open draw meant they then met tournament favourites Canada in the quarter-finals where the mettle of the Lothians pair was tested once again when they conceded a three at the fifth end to drop 4-3 behind and they responded brilliantly, registering a two at the next before restricting their opponents to a single so that Aitken’s double take out with her final stone at the last end got them into the medal matches.

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