By Ryan Williamson | May 11, 2019, 1:27 p.m. (ET)
Sarah Anderson and Korey Dropkin celebrate earning mixed doubles bronze at the 2018-19 Curling World Cup Grand Final on May 11, 2019 in Beijing.

 

After going up against a tough field in the mixed doubles competition, Team USA’s Sarah Anderson and Korey Dropkin finished up the inaugural Curling World Cup Grand Final on Saturday with the bronze medal.

The 2012 Youth Olympians defeated China’s Cao Chang and Yuan Mingjie 7-5 to finish with a 4-2 record and secure the bronze. They were among three U.S. teams who qualified for the event in Beijing following three legs in Suzhou, China; Omaha, Nebraska; and Jonkoping, Sweden.

Anderson and Dropkin kicked off Grand Final play on Wednesday with an 8-5 win against Switzerland. They won twice on Thursday against Canada and China before dropping Friday’s match to Switzerland and losing again to Canada. However, it was a strong finish as they bested China in their final match of the weekend.

“We really enjoy playing with each other and these events track the top teams, so hopefully we'll get an invite back,” said Anderson, who has been competing internationally with Dropkin for at least seven years.

“We love being here,” Dropkin added. “It's so well run and fantastic ice. The competition's so great and it's just fun to be here at the Grand Final.”

Anderson and Dropkin also earned silver at the first leg of the series in Suzhou. Becca Hamilton and Matt Hamilton (Jonkoping), and Tabitha Peterson and Joe Polo (Omaha), were the other two mixed doubles teams to compete for the U.S. in the series, and they each finished with 4-2 round-robin records at their stops, which included one shootout win for each team.

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On the men’s side, Team Shuster, which included most of the 2018 Olympic champions – John Shuster, Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner – plus 2010 Olympian Chris Plys, was off to a strong start with a victory against Team Dunstone of Canada. But after a 2-0 start, the American men lost their next three matches before finishing off the event with a 6-4 win against Olympic silver medalist Sweden. Team Shuster won the Omaha leg in December 2018.

Team Nina Roth also ended the tournament on a high note despite not earning a medal. The U.S. defeated Canada’s Team Jones 6-5 to finish off round-robin action with a 2-4 record.

Ryan Williamson is a sportswriter from Minneapolis-St. Paul. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.