Canadian curlers Homan and Morris on the wrong side of a millimetre at Beijing Olympics_freckle removal glasgow

Canadian curlers Homan and Morris on the wrong side of a millimetre at Beijing OlympicsAs the measuring stick agonizingly spun around the button, John Morris and Rachel Homan stood there in shock. The Italian rock was closer to the button by the slimmest of margins, ending Canada's Olympic mixed doubles curling dreams.

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Canada's mixed doubles curling title defence ends with agonizing loss to Italy

Devin Heroux · CBC Sports(Lilian Swanrumpha/AFP via Getty Images)

John Morris knew it. Rachel Homan knew it too.

As the measuring stick agonizingly spun around the button, Morris and Homan stood there in shock.

The Italian rock was closer to the button by the slimmest of margins, ending Canada's Olympic mixed doubles curling dreams.

It was a gut-wrenching scene.

WATCH | Homan, Morris come up agonizingly short in extra end vs. Italy:

Canada's Homan and Morris eliminated by a millimetre in extra end

23 hours agoDuration 3:43Defending Olympic mixed doubles curling champion John Morris and his new partner Rachel Homan were eliminated by Italy 8-7 following a measurement in the extra end.3:43

With the residue of defeat dripping off of Homan and Morris, they made their way to meet reporters.

Morris wrapped his arm around Homan.

"To everyone in Canada, we love you guys. We gave it everything we got," Morris said.

But in a lot of ways, it should have never come down to a last rock in an extra end in the final game of the round robin against Italy.

It wasn't the smoothest week of curling for Morris and Homan.

Morris even admitted during one of the fourth end break interviews he "sucked" and that "Rachel was playing great." The two just couldn't get on the same page at times when it came to line calls, what shot to throw, or when to sweep.

"Stop sweeping John," Homan yelled during one of her throws. They battled, however, never giving up at any point of any game when it would have been easy to quit.

WATCH | Canada eliminated from Olympic mixed doubles competition after loss to Italy:

Italy eliminates Canada's Homan and Morris in extra end

22 hours agoDuration 13:05Canadian mixed doubles curling duo Rachel Homan and John Morris' hopes of an Olympic title defence came to a sudden halt on Monday in Beijing with an 8-7 extra end loss to Italy's Stefania Constantini and Amos Mosaner.13:05

The last 24 hours have been dramatic for the two.

They clawed their way back against the Czechs, scoring two in the final end before stealing an improbable victory to put themselves in prime playoff position at 5-2.

Strange plot twist

Then news broke that Australian curler Tahli Gill had tested positive for COVID-19, and that her Aussie team was out of the mixed doubles competition.

They had two games left, one of which was to be played against Canada. It appeared Canada would be awarded a victory due to Australia having to forfeit the game.

That win would have clinched a playoff spot for the Canadians.

But in a wild plot twist, the International Olympic Committee and Beijing Organizing Committee, as well as the Medical Expert Panel ruled Australia could compete. It was revealed Gill had tested positive a month prior to the Games — she had residual virus in her body and was cleared to play.

The Canadian duo of Homan and Morris quickly needed to refocus for a game they didn't think they'd have to play.

They looked shell-shocked to begin that game and by the midway point they were trailing a team that had only won once the entire week — to be clear, there were a number of games Australia could have won.

WATCH | Canada suffers upset loss to one-win Australia:

Highlights: Homan & Morris fall short in roller coaster loss to Australia

1 day agoDuration 3:40Canadians Rachel Homan and John Morris rallied after falling behind 7-0 to Australia, but would lose 8-7 in an extra end of mixed doubles curling.3:40

And perhaps most notably, Morris is the coach of the Australian team. He helped guide Dean Hewitt and Gill to the country's first curling appearance at the Olympics. Of course he wasn't coaching them throughout the Games.

Then there they were, the Australians leading their coach and Homan 7-0 in a game with massive playoff significance for Canada.

Despite one of the more incredible comebacks, which saw Canada score four in the fifth end and then three in the seventh end before a steal in the final end to force an extra end, Australia was able to pull off the victory, 8-7.

The loss was a crushing blow to Morris and Homan's playoff chances, putting them in a must-win situation against undefeated Italy.
  • Medal hopes for Canada's Homan, Morris dashed with extra end loss to Italy in mixed doubles curling
  • Australian mixed curling duo allowed to remain at Olympics after positive COVID-19 result

Credit has to go to both the Australian team and the Italians, both of whom completely derailed the dreams of a curling nation.

Questions will undoubtedly be asked of Curling Canada once again. The questioning will be amplified due to Homan and Morris being handpicked by Curling Canada.

The national trials were cancelled over COVID-19 concerns, putting Curling Canada in the position to select the team. They picked Homan and Morris.

WATCH | Canadian soccer star Stephanie Labbéjoines That Curling Show:

Steph Labbé has fallen in love with curling

23 hours agoDuration 7:18The Canadian Olympic soccer champion and 'minister of defence' talks about her new-found love of curling and how she's enjoying some free time now that she's retired.7:18

This latest missed playoffs at the Olympics is just another sign guaranteed podium performances for Canada are no longer.

Morris leaves these Games having won Olympic gold twice before. This is Homan's second consecutive trip to the Olympics leaving empty-handed.

It wasn't for lack of trying. They so badly wanted to win for Canada. But sometimes curling is a cruel game. And sometimes you're on the wrong side of the inch.

Or in this case for Canada, the millimetre.

WATCH | Replay of Canada's dramatic round robin match against Italy:

Curling - Canada vs Italy - Mixed Doubles Round Robin #13

1 day agoDuration 2:06:23Canada vs Italy in curling action from Sheet B on Day 3 of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.Kerri Einarson wins 3rd consecutive Scotties Tournament of Hearts

(editor:)

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