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Gushue's crew beats Korea to win gold again at Pan Continental Curling Championship


KELOWNA, B.C. — Brad Gushue lost his opening game at the Pan Continental Curling Championship and brushed it off by saying as long as his Canadian squad didn't lose the last one he'll be OK.

Gushue, of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, turned in a brilliant performance on Saturday and won the gold medal at Kelowna Curling Club by beating Jongduk Park of South Korea 8-3 in nine ends.

It is the second straight gold medal at the Pan Continental Curling Championships for the Canadian quartet.

Gushue's crew of vice-skip Mark Nichols, second E.J. Harnden and lead Geoff Walker, counted one in the second end, gave up two in the third and tied the game at 2-2 with a single in the fifth. The Canadian skip then stole two in the sixth and seventh ends to grab full control.

Park got one back in the eighth, but Gushue's crew put it away in the ninth with a deuce.

“Representing Canada is always an honour, and to do it well and win a gold is something I’m proud of,” Gushue said.

Gushue will be the first to admit that both teams had their fair share of mistakes during the final. But at the end of the day, it was about when those mistakes were made. For South Korea, those two last-rock misses were the Achilles heel.

“Just timing. Knowing when to go for it and when not to go for it, and having a good feel for the game,” Gushue said.

“Mark and I have been at this now for 30 years. I think those guys will get that experience the more they play. That experience and playing in big games like that, you learn in those moments. Even if you don’t have the best game, you can sometimes make it happen and get the win.”

Canada’s only loss in the round robin was courtesy of the South Korean team. In that game, skip Park did not miss and made any shot needed to earn the win. The gold-medal rematch had all the makings of a back-and-forth affair until the sixth. Giving up the steal of two seemed to rattled South Korea and the team could not battle back against the veteran Canadian squad.

Canada’s spot at the 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, is confirmed after Team Gushue’s performance this week. The top five teams in the event qualified for the world championship later this season.

On Friday night, Riku Yanagisawa of Japan defeated Andrew Stopera of the U.S. 9-6 in nine ends to claim the bronze medal.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2023.