Kennedy gets wish with mixed-double spot

CON GRIWKOWSKY

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

CAMROSE -- Edmonton-based curlers Marc Kennedy and Kevin Koe are among the six-player team that's going to carry Team North America's hopes in this afternoon's first round of the mixed doubles competition.

The event is part of a long-term project showcasing variations of the game that may eventually lead to more Olympic medals.

'DIFFERENT'

Kennedy, who throws second rocks for the world champion rink skipped by Kevin Martin, had jokingly bucked for a spot on the mixed doubles team earlier this week at the Canada Cup qualifier and it appears he got his wish.

"It's different, though, right?" said Kennedy, who drew world champion skip Jennifer Jones as a mixed doubles rinkmate.

The duo will be taking on Thomas Ulsrud and Cathrine Lindahl.

"It's exciting," said Kennedy. "We had our team meeting this morning and you can tell everybody's excited to do something new.

"There's a camaraderie to this event that you don't get in normal events, because you're used to trying to beat each other up. We're playing Koe so many times, batting heads. It's nice to have them on our side for once."

Kennedy was impressed with the Edgeworth Centre arena, which he figures should be considered for future provincials and Grand Slam events.

"What a beautiful arena," said Kennedy. "This is perfect for a curling event. This is going to be a lot of fun."

Koe is no stranger to mixed curling, having won the Canadian mixed title in 2000 when he was living in Calgary.

"I'm excited to play it, but I've never played it before," said Koe, who'll be defending Team North America's honour with Jones's third Cathy Overton-Clapham against Mirjam Ott and Ewan MacDonald. "Actually, this morning I was asking what the rules are. It'll be a lot of fun.

"I've played mixed, so I'll adapt to it pretty quick. I used to play quite a bit of mixed. With the level of curlers you're playing with here, Cathy is a world champ, so I don't think it will hurt.

"Great curlers all around, so it should be easy."

TWO PER TEAM

The only difference is there's two curlers per team.

"That's what I was asking about this morning," said Koe.

"Whose rocks are where, where do they go, do you get to sweep? It'll be interesting. If you're playing good, you should do OK."

The other Team North America squad is US skip Craig Brown and US women's third Allison Pottinger against Anette Norberg and Torger Nergard.

First rock goes at 1 p.m.

The day kicks off with the women's team games at 8:30 a.m., and finished off with the men's team games at 7 p.m.


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