The pair defeated Korea 6-5 in the final to cap off an incredible tournament, with the Australian pair winning seven matches from seven to earn one of the final two Beijing 2022 quotas.
In the final, the Koreans jumped out to an early lead with a 4-2 advantage after the first five ends. In the sixth end, Australia called a power play, and managed to clear out Korean stones early. Gill produced a nose-hit on the only Korean stone in the house to score three points and take a 5-4 lead.
In the eighth and final end with scores tied at 5-5, Gill showed nerves of steel with her final throw using the backing of the one Korean stone lying in the house to draw for the one point that gave her team a 6-5 win and a place in the Olympic Games.
“It’s still sinking in a little bit” said the 22-year-old Gill from Brisbane.
“As basic as it sounds, I thought I’ve just got to throw the right split and the right line. I took a really deep breath and that was all I focussed on. I didn’t think about it being a shot to go to the Olympics or anything like that. I knew I had to throw the right line and weight.”
“Making that three in the power play, that turned things around a lot for us” said Hewitt, the 27-year-old from Melbourne. .
“It’s amazing. I called Tahli about three and half years ago and said, ‘look, do you want to make a run at these Olympics?’ We’ve been working so hard over the past few months and the past couple of years, and it’s all paid off. We’ve had so much support from home, we can’t thank them enough. We’ve been away from home for three months and two days, and we’re going straight back to Canada for a few more months.”
IMAGES © WCF / Steve Seixeiro