Brad Jacobs‘ reign as Olympic curling champion will end in February.
His team that won gold in Sochi was eliminated from the Canada Olympic Trials on Thursday night.
Jacobs, Ryan Fry, E. J. Harnden and Ryan Harnden are 3-4 at the trials in Ottawa with one game left.
Jacobs cannot mathematically get back into the top three (out of nine teams) to advance to the winner-goes-to-Pyeongchang playoffs.
“We came out here knowing that our fate was in our own hands and didn’t perform,” Jacobs said, according to the Canadian Press.
The Canadian Olympic curling team is one of the hardest to make of any Winter Games sports.
Three different Canadian skips won the last three Olympic titles and then lost the Olympic Trials four years later. In 2013, Jacobs’ team became the first to go undefeated at a Canada Olympic Trials.
Brad Gushue, who skipped gold-medal teams at the 2006 Olympics and 2017 Worlds, has clinched one of two spots in Saturday’s semifinal.
The semifinal winner will face a team skipped by Kevin Koe, who also skipped world champion teams in 2010 and 2016. Koe’s team is undefeated through seven games at trials.
Jacobs and Co. can do no more than watch Sunday’s final to see who will succeed them as Canada’s Olympic team.
“It’s a big surprise, it’s an incredible surprise,” Team Jacobs coach Caleb Flaxey said, according to the Canadian Press. “We didn’t expect to be in this situation.”
In the women’s tournament, Sochi gold medalist Jennifer Jones and world champion Rachel Homan play each other in the final round-robin session Friday night. Both are likely to make the three-team playoffs.
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