It’s Nina Roth versus Jamie Sinclair for one spot in the Olympics.
The two favored teams advanced Wednesday to the U.S. Olympic curling trials finals in Omaha.
Roth finished round-robin play 4-2, while Sinclair is at 3-2 with one match left Wednesday night that will not impact the finals matchup.
The third and final team at trials, skipped by Cory Christensen, fell to 1-4, eliminated with an 8-6 loss to Roth on Wednesday afternoon.
Nobody on any of the three women’s teams has competed at an Olympics.
Every member of Christensen’s team is 22 or 23 years old, which would have made them the youngest U.S. Olympic curling team ever. But they came to Omaha as the lowest-ranked team.
Roth and Sinclair’s rinks will now play a best-of-three series starting Thursday afternoon with the winner becoming the U.S. Olympic team in PyeongChang.
Sinclair beat Roth in the finals at last season’s nationals, but Roth went to worlds (and placed fifth) because she had the better overall season.
“There’s definitely some for improvement; we’re getting closer and closer to our A game,” Roth said.
NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app will air trials finals coverage. A full broadcast schedule is here.
In the men’s tournament, three-time Olympian John Shuster is guaranteed a spot in the best-of-three finals with a 6-1 record in round-robin play with one match left.
Shuster’s team will play a team skipped by either Heath McCormick or Todd Birr, who face off in the last round-robin session Wednesday night. Birr, the oldest curler in Omaha at 49 years old, must beat McCormick to force a tiebreaker.
The U.S. has earned one Olympic curling medal, bronze in the men’s event in 2006. Curling was part of the Winter Games in 1924 and every Olympics since 1998.
Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway and Great Britain are the world powers in curling.
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