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Canada's Gushue and Einarson miss podium at world mixed doubles curling championship


ABERDEEN, United Kingdom — Canada's Kerri Einarson and Brad Gushue settled for a fourth-place finish at the world mixed doubles curling championship on Sunday after a 7-4 loss to Sweden in the bronze-medal game. 

Sweden's Almida De Val and Oscar Eriksson scored four in the first end and never relinquished the lead. The game was conceded in the eighth after a double peel left Canada no chance to set up a steal of three.

Bruce Mouat and Jennifer Dodds of host Scotland won gold later in the day with a 9-7 victory over Norway's Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten.

Even though Gushue and Einarson missed the podium, their top-seven finish in the 20-team field secured a mixed doubles berth for Canada at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. 

"I'm very proud of how Kerri and I battled throughout the week," Gushue said. "There was no doubt we were tired and not at our best, but we left it all on the ice and that's all you could ask for. 

"We're disappointed not to earn a medal, but are proud to have earned the Olympic spot for Canada."

Sweden put the game out of reach in the seventh end when De Val made an around-the-horn shot. The rock took out two Canadian stones before sitting under cover as shot rock. 

Canada played a raise double-takeout hoping to score two, but the raised stone rolled too far. Canada had to settle for a single point. 

The event capped a disappointing run of Canadian results at world curling championships this season. 

Canada's Brendan Bottcher lost the qualification game at the world men's playdowns in the Calgary bubble and Einarson's four-player team suffered the same fate at the women's world championship. 

While Beijing berths were secured in all disciplines, it was the first time that Canada was shut out of the medals at all three world events in the same season.

"It’s been an honour to represent Canada twice on the world stage," Einarson said. "We gave it our absolute all this week and I couldn’t be more proud of us earning Canada the Olympic spot.

"We fought hard every game. We may not have played our best at times, but we also never gave up." 

Gushue, from St. John's, N.L., and Einarson, from Camp Morton, Man., finished round-robin play at 7-2. 

They reached the semifinals after pulling out an unlikely comeback win over Switzerland in a qualification game Saturday at the Curl Aberdeen facility.

Einarson forced an extra end with a remarkable quadruple-takeout and Canada stole a single for the win. That game was followed by a semifinal loss to Scotland.

Canada reached the podium (two silver, one bronze) at the last three editions of the world mixed doubles playdowns.

Canada has never won gold at the event, which made its debut in 2008. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 23, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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