Hungary’s Laura Nagy and Canada’s Nathan Young are the mixed doubles Youth Olympic Games champions after a 9-5 win against France’s Chana Beitone and Russia’s Nikolai Lysakov. With this result, France/Russia collected silver while China’s Junhang Pei and Czech Republic’s Vit Chabicovsky won bronze against Mina Kobayashi of Japan and Leo Tuaz from France.
The teams in the mixed doubles competition are composed of one female and one male from different National Olympic Committees, selected based on the final mixed rankings.
In the opening end of the gold medal game, Hungary’s Laura Nagy made a perfect raise take-out to score three points. The second end saw France’s Chana Beitone miss a tap back in a cluttered house and Hungary/Canada stole two points to go up 5-0.
Second half comeback
France/Russia scored their first point of the match in the fourth end with an open hit for one point, making the score 7-1. Then, in the fifth end, Hungary was faced with a tricky draw to the button, but was light, giving up a steal of two points, 7-3. The comeback continued for France/Russia after Hungary/Canada were heavy on a draw, giving away a steal of two points to make the score 7-5.
In the seventh end, Hungary/Canada were forced to a single point on a draw to the eight-foot, giving them a three point lead without the last-stone advantage for the final end. On her final shot, France’s Beitone attempted a challenging raise take-out but missed, giving Canada the 9-5 win and the gold medals.
After the game, Laura Nagy commented on their performance, “We were really forward in the beginning, and I think we’ve got a bit of confidence and we started missing shots a bit. And well, I think once we were like ‘we can’t let this happen’, I think we made almost every shot in the last couple of ends and basically won the game with that.”
“It means a lot [winning first Olympic gold for Hungary in curling]. “The Hungarian curling, especially the juniors hasn’t been getting so on and I think that we’re improving a lot and we’re climbing up more and more and I think we’re on the way to get better and better. This is amazing! I’d never even thought we would get this far.”
Her partner, Nathan Young, echoed the excitement, “It’s amazing, I’m still in the moment right now. I haven’t had time to think about what’s just happened. There aren’t many words. It’s already such an amazing experience to be here and represent Canada and have my family here. This [medal] is just a big bonus!”
Silver medallist, Nikolai Lysakov, who also claimed bronze in the mixed event, said: “It’s a great feeling, I’m just a little overwhelmed with the feeling. I’m just happy to get another medal, some national pride as well, to be representing Russia. I’m really proud of that.”
China/Czech Republic claim bronze medals
In the bronze medal game, China/Czech Republic played Japan/France. The game was level 1-1 after two ends of play. In the third end, China’s Pei drew for two points to take a 3-1 lead.
France’s Tuaz tried an angle raise take-out in the fifth end but the stone didn’t curl enough and China/Czech Republic stole one point to go up 5-1. Tuaz then made a take-out to score two points in the sixth end to make the score 5-3. In the seventh end China/Czech Republic scored one point on a draw to the button to go up 6-3. Finally, in the last end, China/Czech Republic stole the wining point, 7-3.
Vit Chabicovsky commented on his bronze medal, “I’m super happy, I guess Tina [Junhang] is too. I mean we had a pretty tough game in the morning, we didn’t have the draw weight and they played really great, they were a really solid team and they both played great and they had draw weight.”