Jones’ perfect Olympic streak ends as Canada fall to Japan in women’s curling

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Jennifer Jones’ perfect Olympics streak is gone.

Jones and her Canadian team lost their first women’s curling match in Beijing losing an 8-5 decision to Japan on Friday at the Ice Cube.

In doing so, Jones, a 47-year-old Winnipeg native, suffered her first career loss at the Games and saw her all-time Olympic record drop to 12-1. Jones went 11-0 at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi to win gold and led her side to a 12-7 win over South Korea on Thursday in their opener in Beijing.

A six-time Canadian champion and two-time world champion, Jones is the only female captain to go undefeated in a single Olympic tournament. Fellow Canadian Kevin Martin is the only male captain to achieve this feat, having accomplished it in 2010 in Vancouver.

WATCH | Canada fall to Japan, ending Jones’ perfect streak:

Jones suffers first Olympics loss as Canada fall to Japan

Jennifer Jones’ perfect 12-0 streak at the Olympics is snapped as Canada falls to Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa 8-5. 3:23

“We’re probably a little disappointed. [We] didn’t play as well as we would have liked. You don’t mind losing [but] you always want to go out and play your best. We definitely fought our way to the end, and we tried and fought,” Jones said.

She then added: “[Japan] played well and we just weren’t as sharp as we should have been. But you can’t take anything. They played very well.”

Besides Jones, the Canadian team in Beijing includes Jocelyn Peterman, Dawn McEwen and Kaitlyn Lawes. Japan lost 8-5 to Sweden in their opening match. The Japanese are coached by Calgary native JD Lind.

Canada continues its Olympic campaign in Beijing against Sweden (1-1) Friday at 8:05 p.m. ET.

There are 10 nations in the women’s curling tournament, with each team playing nine matches. The top four at the end of the round robin advance to the medal round.

As Jones struggled to shoot, his counterpart Satsuki Fujisawa put in an almost flawless performance as Japan controlled the game.

Fujisawa, who won bronze in 2018 in Pyeongchang, drew a fine draw on the button with his last stone from the first end, which meant his team was down to three. Jones’ draw with the hammer was heavy but still managed to limit the damage, as Japan only stole one after one bar.

WATCH | This curling show: Jennifer Jones talks about the excitement of competing in the Olympics:

That curling spectacle: Jennifer Jones reminds us how joyful it is to compete in the Olympics

After becoming the first female captain to go through the Games unbeaten in 2014, Jennifer Jones kicked off her 2022 campaign with a 12-7 win over Korea. 43:44

Japan looked set to steal one in the next end, but Jones played a spectacular return for two with the hammer to give Canada a 2-1 lead.

Fujisawa responded with a nice hit and roll to score two runs in the third end as Japan regained the lead. Jones’ takedown attempt with the hammer slipped too far, allowing Japan to steal one and come back 4-2 after four ends.

Jones’ attempted draw with the hammer fell narrowly, allowing Japan to steal one in the fifth end.

“We unfortunately got into a tight spot here, so we’ll have to get some good shots going home,” Jones told CBC Sports’ Colleen Jones after five ends.

Jones admitted Canada was continuing the game until then.

“We just don’t put our rocks in the right places and [Japan is] make tons of good draws,” Jones explained.

Fujisawa was brilliant through the first five ends, but back-to-back misses opened the door for Jones to score two with one out in the sixth end to close the gap on the Japanese.

Japan regained control by scoring two runs to take a 7-4 lead following a major gaffe by Canada’s sweepers on Jones’ last rock in the seventh end.

Jones’ double strikeout with the hammer for a run allowed Canada to draw within two of Japan after eight innings.

With Canada down two in the ninth end, Fujisawa double-outed to score one and give Japan an 8-5 lead.

A miss by Japan’s third Chinami Yoshida meant three rocks were suddenly in play for Canada in the 10th end. But Fujisawa cleaned things up with a double takedown with his first rock, which meant Japan lied three. Japan ended up stealing two to seal the win with Jones shaking hands with Fujisawa before both captains threw their final rocks.

On the men’s side for Canada, Brad Gushue’s home rink won its first two games in Beijing and will face Switzerland (1-1) Friday at 7:05 a.m. ET.

WATCH | Replay of Canada vs. Japan, women’s curling round robin:

Curling – Canada vs Japan – Women’s Round Robin #3

Canada and Japan face off in Sheet B women’s curling action on Day 7 of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. 2:51:16

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