Canada's Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris kept up their excellent recent form in the mixed doubles curling at the 2018 Winter Olympics on Saturday, extending their winning run to five.
They earned a 7-2 win over Switzerland's pair of Jenny Perret and Martin Rios before an even bigger 8-2 victory over the Russian duo of Anastasia Bryzgalova and Alexander Krushelnitskiy.
Canada are through to the playoffs after these wins, taking their overall record to 5-1, while Bryzgalova and Krushelnitskiy are also already through despite their loss.
Norway and Switzerland—who have each won four of their six matches—find themselves in pole position to progress with just one round of matches to play.
Here are the results from Saturday's round-robin competition.
Mixed Doubles Curling Results and Schedule
China 6-4 United States
Norway 7-6 Finland
Canada 7-2 Switzerland
South Korea 5-6 OAR
OAR 2-8 Canada
Switzerland 6-4 South Korea
Norway 3-10 United States
Finland 5-10 China
For the curling results in full, visit the competition's official website.
In Draw 5, the meeting between Canada and Switzerland, the two teams many expect to be competing for gold, was one plenty of curling aficionados were focused on. The former side stamped its authority on the contest.
After the Swiss took an early lead in the opening end, Canada came roaring back, taking four points at the next attempt. From there, they were always in control and saw out a comfortable win.
CBS's Devin Heroux reflected on the performance from Lawes and Morris:
Devin Heroux @Devin_Heroux
For the record — Lawes and Morris are seriously dialled in right now. Five wins in a row. And they haven’t really been close. One last round robin game vs Korea and then playoff time. #cbccurl2018-2-10 12:23:21
Elsewhere, there was some drama to enjoy, as an extra end was needed to separate Norway and Finland. As Josh Potts noted, eventually the former secured a thrilling and important win:
Josh Potts @CurlingReport
Wow! Norway won, but it was by the slimmest of margins. Their red stone was maybe 1 inch closer to the pin than Finland’s yellow stone. Norway joins Canada and OAR at 4-1 atop the leaderboard. Finland drops to 0-5. #curling2018-2-10 01:59:34
Indeed, it left three teams—Canada, Norway and OAR—with four wins and one loss from their five matches. The showdown between OAR and Canada later in the day was also set up to be a thriller.
In it, the Canadian duo continued their excellent form from earlier in the day and started off with a first-end three; the Curling Canada account was delighted watching on from afar:
Curling Canada @CurlingCanada
What a nice way for Canadians to wake up! A first-end three on the board for @LKLawes and @johnnymocurler against OAR! Sweeeeeeet! #curling #Pyeongchang2018 #gocanadago2018-2-10 11:15:31
That impressive start set the tempo for the remainder of the match, allowing the Canadian twosome the chance to relax as they closed the win out. It was their fifth triumph in succession and enough to put them into the knockout bracket.
The OAR pair are also just two wins from gold, as results elsewhere mean they will be in the semi-finals.
Journalist Ted Wyman broke down what other teams remain in contention for a medal:
Ted Wyman @Ted_Wyman
Canada (5-1) has clinched a playoff spot in mixed doubles #curling, while Russia and Norway (4-2) have clinched at least a tiebreaker. Switzerland likely to join them at 4-2. China (3-3) only team with chance to force tiebreaker on Sunday. #Olympics #Pyeongchang20182018-2-10 12:34:44
On Sunday, Canada have a great chance to keep confidence up when they take on a struggling South Korea duo. The most important tussle of the final round-robin matches will see Norway meet China, with the latter needing a victory to keep their hopes alive.