Fifth Mixed Doubles title for Bridget and Sean

Bridget Becker
Bridget Becker. Photo © NZCA

15 Aug 2017 – It may have been 5 years since Bridget Becker and brother Sean last competed together, but you wouldn’t have thought so after they comfortably won the NZ Mixed Doubles Curling Championship last weekend.

Their teamwork may have been understandably a little rusty early on, with a second round loss to the eventual bronze medallists Eleanor Adviento and Brett Sargon. But they found their form quickly and improved throughout the tournament to finish the round robin with a 5-1 win-loss record.

Courtney Smith and Anton Hood played consistently well through the round robin, dropping just their opening round match to the Beckers to also finish on 5-1.

Adviento and Sargon were the third team to qualify for the playoffs with a 3 and 3 record. The other four teams finished on 2-4, a testament to the evenness of the competition.

Among them were the youngest side at the four-day event, the Dunedin bother and sister Jayden and Grace Bishop. In their mid-teens and playing in their first Mixed Doubles tournament, they became crowd favourites as they troubled many of the more experienced sides.

The semi-final between Smith / Hood and Adviento / Sargon was tight through the first fourth ends. But straight after the break, Smith and Hood took advantage of a couple of short stones from their opponents to score 4, and they went on to win 8-3.

In the final they faced the Becker siblings who hit top form and put on a masterclass, often leaving no final shot for the opposing team. The sides shook hands after seven ends with the score at 9-1, giving Bridget and Sean their fifth national Mixed Doubles title together. Bridget has won another two with younger brother Scott.

A feature of the tournament was the age of the competitors, with only the Beckers older than 26, and several of the players still at high school.

“This is a great sign for the future of New Zealand Curling,” said Sean Becker after the event. “There was some real skill and great curling on display out there, and it’s only going to get stronger in the future.”

The tournament also served as a strong workout for five of the six Kiwis who will play in the Mixed Doubles curling tournament at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ at the same venue, starting in just 10 days time. The New Zealand sides entered there are

  • Bridget Becker and Scott Becker
  • Eleanor Adviento and Brett Sargon
  • Jessica Smith and Ben Smith