Curlers Homan and Morris to represent Canada in mixed doubles at Beijing Games

Curlers Homan and Morris to symbolize Canada in combined doubles at Beijing Video games

Confronted with having to select an Olympic combined doubles curling crew reasonably than maintain conventional playdowns, Curling Canada put a premium on top-flight expertise for its choice.

Having the reigning Olympic champion within the combine for nomination didn’t damage both.

John Morris and Rachel Homan have been chosen Thursday to symbolize Canada in Beijing because the federation went with the anticipated and protected decide of two gamers with loaded resumes.

:We perceive the circumstances,” Morris stated on a video name. “On the finish of the day, when you’ve gotten a chance to put on the Maple Leaf in your again and go to battle on your nation to attempt to get them a medal, that’s one thing that I relish.

“I simply can’t await yet another alternative.”

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Along with their Olympic expertise, each gamers have gained world titles and are three-time nationwide champions.

Morris, 43, gained Olympic gold with skip Kevin Martin on the 2010 Vancouver Video games. He additionally took combined doubles gold on the 2018 Pyeongchang Video games with Kaitlyn Lawes within the self-discipline’s Olympic debut.

Homan, 32, represented Canada within the girls’s crew occasion in South Korea however didn’t attain the rostrum. She was changed by Lawes for the combined doubles trials after locking up the crew berth.

“We wished to pick a extremely ranked crew with quite a lot of worldwide expertise and a constant report of successful efficiency,” stated nationwide coach Scott Pfeifer. “I believe John and Rachel, with their expertise on the Olympics — and John’s particularly with combined doubles — makes them the right crew to symbolize Canada in Beijing.”

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Homan and Morris have gained 4 of their final six combined doubles competitions collectively and 45 of their final 49 video games as a duo general.

Canada will likely be joined by fellow headliners Sweden, Nice Britain, Switzerland, Norway and america within the 10-team Olympic combined doubles subject.

READ MORE: Gushue wins males’s last at Canada’s Olympic curling trials, Jones takes girls’s berth

Homan has had success in Beijing up to now. She beat Russia’s Anna Sidorova within the last of the 2017 girls’s world championship on the Capital Indoor Stadium.

Combined doubles round-robin play on the Winter Video games begins Feb. 2 on the Ice Dice.

“We’re actually excited, we’re grateful and honoured to have Curling Canada put their religion in us,” Homan stated. “We take that very significantly.

“John and I are opponents and we’re excited to get collectively and begin coaching in just a few days.”

Homan and Pfeiffer have been anticipated to hitch Morris this weekend in Canmore, Alta., for an remoted coaching camp earlier than leaving for China.

Curling Canada consulted with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Personal the Podium earlier than making the announcement, which ended a virtually three-week await the contending groups.

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The combined doubles trials, scheduled to start Dec. 28 in Portage la Prairie, Man., have been cancelled on Boxing Day. Curling Canada cited journey dangers and optimistic COVID-19 circumstances amongst athletes for its choice to wash the 16-team occasion.

READ MORE: Curling Canada cancels Olympic combined doubles trials amid rise in COVID-19 circumstances

The nomination course of was made harder by the actual fact the highest two groups within the nationwide rankings Anna Sidorova Jocelyn Peterman and Brett Gallant and No. 2 Jennifer Jones and Brent Laing have been dominated out since they’d certified in four-player occasions.

Not like many different curling federations, Curling Canada doesn’t permit curlers to play in each disciplines on the identical Video games.

Peterman and Jones booked their tickets for Beijing in November by successful the ladies’s crew trials in Saskatoon. Gallant gained the lads’s title with skip Brad Gushue.

Different pairings believed to be within the combine for choice included third-ranked Nancy Martin and Tyrel Griffith and No. 4 Lisa Weagle and John Epping. Weagle, a member of Jones’s five-player rink, was eligible since she’s listed as an alternate in crew play.

Kerri Einarson teamed with Gushue to win the Canadian combined doubles championship final season within the Calgary bubble.

She was planning to play the trials with Brad Jacobs, who misplaced the crew trials last to Gushue. Laing, in the meantime, was set to play with Selena Njegovan.

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“We’re blessed with a tremendous pool of combined doubles gamers, and I really feel nothing however compassion for the curlers who have been to compete within the Trials and had that chance taken from them by the pandemic,” Curling Canada CEO Katherine Henderson stated in a launch. “However we’re assured that Rachel and John will make Canada proud in Beijing.”

Homan and Morris, each initially from Ottawa, are ranked fifth in Canada however their big-game expertise was powerful for different groups to match.

“We’ve John Morris, who’s mainly probably the most achieved combined doubles participant within the historical past of curling proper now,” Pfeifer stated. “Rachel has a ton of expertise, each on the world stage and on the Olympic stage as properly.

“We have been extraordinarily assured that it doesn’t matter what, they might be a superb pairing transferring ahead for this Olympics.”

The Morris and Homan curling connections run deep.

Rachel’s brother, Mark, used to play with Morris on the junior degree. Morris’s father, Earle, coached Homan’s four-player crew throughout its early life by 2014.

Again within the day, the households would typically get collectively over the vacations for enjoyable video games.

“Being named as part of the Olympic crew is phenomenal,” Homan stated. “However then to have the ability to do it with somebody you’ve recognized your entire life is simply one other wonderful feeling.”

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Morris, a three-time Canadian combined doubles medallist, gained silver with Homan on the 2017 nationwide playdowns. They ran the desk on the Qualico Combined Doubles Basic final fall, beating Jones/Laing within the semifinal and Peterman/Gallant within the last.

“I like strain, I need it,” Morris stated. “I like the principle stage and I do know Rachel is similar. She has an amazing observe report. Is that this the way in which we wished to be picked? No. We wished to go to battle in opposition to Canada’s greatest and show that we have been the very best crew within the nation.

“Underneath the circumstances, this time it was not doable. I believe we’re each very excited to work actually arduous at preparing for Beijing and going out and proving ourselves on the ice.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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