Defending Champs Aitken and Mouat Claim Mixed Doubles Crown
Gina Aitken and Bruce Mouat successfully defended their Scottish Mixed Doubles title at Braehead to claim their fourth national crown in the event in five years.
The Lothian duo beat Lee and Judith McLeary, twice winners of the National Mixed Doubles Championships (2011 and 2014) 8-0 in the final, after beating Gina’s Father and also their Mixed Doubles Coach David Aitken who was today partnered by Gina’s mother, Morna, in the semi final.
After a family battle for a place in the final, 23 year old Aitken said: “Mum had to stand in for my sister Karina who was unwell earlier today. It was tricky playing against our coach. I am used to playing against my sisters, which usually makes me very competitive, but I knew what our coach would be thinking and I had to just shut that out and play our game.
They won their semi final 12-4 having finished top of the rankings at the end of the round robin section of the competition. .
Aitken added: “We got stronger towards the end of the week, we have played a lot of mixed doubles this year leading up to this national title, so whereas other teams are having to shake off the dust and get into the Mixed Doubles format, we were just ready for it.
Commenting on their sole loss in the championships to Ross Whyte and Sophie Jackson Aitken said: “We were allowed one hiccup, it wasn’t a bad game it just a few shots that could have gone either way that could have made a difference. But what is important is to be peaking once you are reaching the knock-out stages.
“Now this is an Olympic discipline it is interesting to see the level of interest increasing and curlers taking this more seriously as there is more at stake.
“We are really excited that we have qualified to represent Scotland again at the world championships in Canada next April. Playing in Canada is just great. Our main goal is to qualify GB for the Olympics and if we peak at the right time hopefully we can bring back a medal.”
Reigning World Junior Champion Bruce Mouat also hopes they can improve on their fourth place finish at their last World Mixed Doubles Championships with Aitken, but is also mindful of the hard work and preparation that lies ahead before they reach Lethbridge where this year’s event is being staged.
“We have already played in four tour events prior to this championship so we were better prepared than ever before but there is a lot of hard work to be done in the next few months.”
The mixed doubles discipline has been included in the 2018 Winter Olympics schedule for the first time.
Photo: Tom J Brydone.