Kristen Tsourlenes and Dean Hewitt

2015 National Mixed Doubles Championships Results

Gold Medal: Laurie Weeden & Ian Palangio
Silver Medal: Kim Forge & Hugh Millikin
Bronze Medal: Kristen Tsourlenes & Dean Hewitt

The 2015 Australian Mixed Doubles Nationals wrapped up this weekend over three days of games with competitors travelling from Melbourne, Gold Coast and Sydney to be able to represent Australia at the 2016 World Mixed Doubles Championships being held in Karlstad, Sweden this upcoming April, 2016

Four teams fought it out in a double round robin best of five games format with wins and losses counting from the round robin.

The stylish wonder team made up of juniors Dean Hewitt and Kristen
Tsourlenes were on fire in their first couple of games scoring wins from
more experienced teams demonstrating the future talent of Australia.

At the end of the double round robin, teams were ranked from 1 to 4. Ian
Palangio and Laurie Weeden ranked first with a record of 5 wins and 1 loss qualifying them for the Sunday morning Gold Medal game. Teams Hugh Millikin/Kim Forge and Dean Hewitt/Kristen Tsourlenes tied for second and were forced into a tie breaker game late on Saturday night to determine the final ranking for second and third place.

Despite Hewitt/Tsourlenes's fantastic effort each end to set up the house in their favour, Millikin pulled off some incredible last shots to win ends.
Ultimately, the Millikin/Forge team won the tiebreaker putting them into the Gold Medal game the following morning whilst Team Gagnon, recent New Zealand Winter Games Australian representatives, made up of mum Sandy and son Ian, qualified for the Sunday morning Bronze Medal game against Hewitt and Tsourlenes.

Sunday morning came early for all teams with the both Gold and Bronze games underway at 8:30am. Hewitt/Tsourlenes traded ends with Team Gagnon before Hewitt and Tsourlenes winning the Bronze title.

In the Gold medal game Millikin/Forge took the early lead in the game. With Palangio/Weeden trailing by 4 in the last end, they opted to invoke the new Power Play option giving more advantage to the team with the hammer; one of the new Mixed Doubles rules recently adopted by the World Curling Federation in August allowing for a corner guard and rock buried behind the guard in the house rather than the traditional set up of centre guard and rock in the house at the back of the
four foot. This proved successful for them after Weeden played a controlled take out of a Millikin/Forge stone through their own stones to lay four and tie the game.

In the extra end Palangio tapped his own rock into the four foot to sit on the button two behind guards frozen on another rock. In the end Millikin and Forge were not able to remove both stones. Palangio/Weeden stole a point to win the game and Nationals - winning the best of 5 series vs Millikin/Forge in 3 games.

This competition marked the first opportunity for three new rules to be
implemented at a Mixed Doubles nationals for Australia. The new rules
Included:
1) the Power Plan option mentioned above,
2) a change in the placement of the rock in the house from the back of the button to now be at the back of the 4 foot ring, and
3) no requirement for somebody to hold a broom, allowing teams to have the option for a sweeper with shots delivered.

General comments from players indicate they like the new rules as it makes the game more interesting to play, more scenarios, and greater mix of shots during the game.

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