Jennifer Jones and Brent Laing have added yet another trophy to their already impressive collection. After a flawless performance at the 2023 Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, the duo clinched their first national gold medal as teammates.
With a combined 12 Canadian curling championships, seven world titles, and an Olympic gold medal between them, it’s hard to believe that something was missing from their trophy cabinet. But on Sunday, in front of a jam-packed crowd at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex in Sudbury, Ont., Jones and Laing outplayed two-time national mixed doubles champs Jocelyn Peterman and Brett Gallant of Chestermere, Alta., to clinch the gold medal.
In a nail-biting finish, the teams were tied 4-4 heading into the eighth end, with Jones and Laing holding the hammer. But Jones played a brilliant hack-weight tap to remove the shot rock and score five for the win, leading to a celebratory hug between the two as the crowd erupted in cheers.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Laing, who now adds the Canadian mixed doubles crown to his impressive list of victories, including three Brier victories, three world men’s titles, two Canadian junior wins, and two world junior titles. “It hasn’t really sunk in quite yet. We had a great attitude this week of just playing our best, taking every end one at a time, and seeing where we end up. And we ended up winning, so that’s pretty cool. I think it will really sink in when we get home with the kids; they’ll be excited. It’s pretty awesome.”
Jones, a six-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts winner to go along with her two world championships, 2014 Olympic gold medal, and Canadian junior championship, was equally thrilled with the victory. “We are getting towards the tail end of our careers, so it’s going to be a special memory that we’ll cherish forever, to be Team Canada together, to share these moments together,” she said. “Even winning this felt great, to give Brent a hug right after the game instead of waiting those five minutes to get down to the ice through the crowd.”
Jones and Laing collected $40,000 for their victory, while Peterman and Gallant earned $20,000. The winners will now represent Canada at the 2023 World Mixed Doubles Championship next month in Gangneung, South Korea, a building that both Jones and Laing have played in before.
“We were there in the Athletes Village and didn’t really get to experience the city,” said Laing. “So I’m excited to go back. Pfeif will be with us again; obviously he was with us in 2018. So it’s somebody familiar and somebody we can count on. We’re super excited.”
“It’ll be great to go back there,” added Jones. “At the end of the day, we just want to go and play well and have fun. I can tell everybody in Canada that we’re never going to quit, and we’re going to try our very hardest to stand on that podium.”
What a thrilling victory for Jones and Laing! Stay tuned to NetNewsLedger.com Sports for more updates on their journey to the 2023 World Mixed Doubles Championship!