LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — It was an agonizing way to lose but, in the big picture, it was a huge step forward for Canada at the 2017 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship.
Canada's Joanne Courtney and Reid Carruthers gave up an early lead to fall to Switzerland's Martin Rios and Jenny Perret 6-5 on Saturday afternoon to settle for silver at the world mixed doubles curling championship.
The Canadians held a 5-2 lead through seven ends but a miss from Courtney on her final shot of the game opened the door for the Swiss to claim their leading sixth gold medal in the 10-year history of the event as Perret drew for four.
"We can't be prouder of this team, but that's mixed doubles — you make one little mistake and all of a sudden there's a four on the board and you lose the world championship," said national mixed doubles coach Jeff Stoughton. "I know they'll be thinking about this for quite a long time, but they can hold their heads high and be super proud of their accomplishments."
It was a best-ever finish for Canada in mixed doubles. In the previous nine world championships, Canada had won just one medal, a bronze in 2009 by Alli Flaxey and Sean Grassie.
The Canadians also locked up a berth in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where mixed doubles curling will make its debut as a medal sport. Canada will be joined by host South Korea, Switzerland, the United States, Finland, Norway, China and Russia.