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Lawes, Morris win Olympic mixed doubles curling berth

Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris booked their ticket to the Pyeongchang Olympics with an 8-6 victory over Brad Gushue and Val Sweeting at the Canadian mixed doubles curling trials in Manitoba.

Duo defeats Gushue, Sweeting 8-6 to book ticket to Pyeongchang

Kaitlyn Lawes, left, and John Morris, right clinched an Olympic berth by winning the Canadian mixed doubles curling trials in Manitoba on Sunday. (Devin Heroux/CBC Sports)

​Kaitlyn Lawes was feeling elated and shocked at the thought of going to her second Olympic Games.

Lawes and John Morris earned the right to represent Canada when mixed doubles curling makes its Olympic debut at Pyeongchang after an 8-6 victory over Val Sweeting and Brad Gushue in Sunday's Trials final at Stride Place.

Lawes, from Winnipeg, won Olympic gold in 2014 as the third for Jennifer Jones. Morris, a resident of Canmore, Alta., stood on the podium in 2010 as the third for Kevin Martin's gold-medal foursome."I feel like I'm a little more in shock this time than last time," said Lawes before turning to smile at Morris.

Lawes and Morris beat Val Sweeting and Brad Gushue 8-6 in the 2018 Mixed Doubles Curling Trials Final in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba 2:38

"We were always Olympians and now we're two-time Olympians and that's amazing, especially in the sport of curling where it's so hard to get out of Canada."

Lawes/Morris took the lead by scoring four points in the fourth end and added a steal of two in the fifth to make it 7-3. Sweeting/Gushue fought back with a pair of their own in the sixth end and made it a one-point game with a steal in the seventh.

In the eighth and final end, Sweeting chipped off and rolled out with her final throw to give Lawes/Morris a point and the victory.

"It's going to be so cool to compare the two," Morris said of attending the Vancouver Olympics and now the South Korea event. "I feel so honoured to be able to have that chance. I'm very lucky."

The four-player curling team Olympic Trials were held last month in Ottawa. Calgary's Kevin Koe won the men's competition and Ottawa's Rachel Homan took the women's title.

'A great combo'

Homan had been Morris's regular doubles partner so he asked Lawes, 29, to take her place.

The pair practised once for 30 minutes at a Winnipeg curling rink before the Trials began, Morris said with a smile, but they've curled together at a past Continental Cup.

"I knew we'd make a great combo," Morris, 39, said "I've always felt our dynamics has been really good and we've been good friends and she's a heck of a shot-maker."

The duo had lost twice to Sweeting/Gushue earlier in the event.

Lawes and Morris will have more time to practise at a week-long training camp in Japan before they hit the Olympic ice in Gangneu on Feb. 8.

With files from CBC Sports

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