Manitoba junior curlers win double gold for Canada in Russia
Team Zacharias wins gold in Russia. (Source: Curling Canada/Twitter)
WINNIPEG -- It was a clean sweep atop the podium for Canada at the 2020 World Junior Curling Championships in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, as both Canadian men's and women's representatives won gold.
The last time the men's and women's both brought home gold was at the 2018 championships in Scotland.
Mackenzie Zacharias from Altona, Man. along with her team, defeated South Korea's Min-Ji Kim 7-5 in the championship final to claim the women's title.
"World champion? That sounds pretty amazing. It was a fantastic game, Korea played great. We struggled a little in the first half, but we played a great second half. It's incredible, and I'm so happy," said Zacharias after winning the final.
As for the men, Winnipeg's Jacques Gauthier team from the Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club needed just nine ends to defeat Switzerland's Marco Hösli 7-2.
"It's unreal. It's going to take a while for it to set in. I have guys in front of me who can really hit - they're animals. If it doesn't go our way, we've been fortunate to make some big draws at big times, and I think that helped us out and definitely played into our confidence," said Gauthier
Canadian men's teams have won a leading 21 gold medals (Scotland is next with ten gold) to go along with ten silver and eight bronze in the 45 previous editions of the World Junior Men's Championship.
CHEERING FROM HOME
Despite the time difference between Manitoba and the Siberian city where the championship was held, the Altona Curling Club, where Mackenzie Zacharias practices, stayed up until 1 a.m. to watch the game.
Emily and Mackenzie Zacharias' Grandpa, Mom, Sister and Brother celebrating. (Source: Altona Curling Club)
As for the men, Jacques Gauthier's club in Winnipeg also cheered him held a viewing party.
"It's something we're really proud of this rink, cause the junior men are from this rink, so it's exciting to have them in there," said Frank Clairemont, a curler from the club.
Sharon Rintoul, another curler from the club, said, "It's great to see the young curlers making a go of it nationally, they curl out of the rink, they practice here, so you feel a little bit connected to them."
Both teams will return to Winnipeg on Monday, Feb. 24, at 12:16 a.m. on WestJet flight 3020.
-With files from CTV's Touria Izri