Play-off race thrown wide open in World Curling Championships

Play-off race thrown wide open in World Curling Championships
By Sportsbeat

05/04/2019 at 05:58Updated 05/04/2019 at 07:00

Switzerland missed the chance to go top of the World Curling Championship standings after losing out to Italy in dramatic fashion in Canada.

The Swiss rink, led by Peter de Cruz, had already upset the odds by taking two from the final end to force Italy into an extra end in their ninth match of the tournament.

But Italy's skip Joel Retornaz held his nerve when it mattered most, drawing his stone into a generous target to salvage a 6-5 win.

Switzerland's second defeat of the round-robin stage has therefore opened up the play-off chase, with six teams having six wins or more while Scotland – currently sitting seventh – have played a game fewer as they embark on back-to-back games with China and Canada.

The hosts enter that game on good form themselves, notching a seventh win of the campaign after defeating USA 6-3 – wrapping up the contest with two points in the final end.

China also prevailed in their first game of the day with a 7-2 win over Norway, though both rinks face an uphill battle to reach the play-off places reserved for the top six finishes.

The same can be said for Russia and the Netherlands, both sitting on three wins from their nine matches after Russia prevailed in their head-to-head battle, 7-4, with three points in the first end the key to their success as the Dutch failed to claw back the deficit.

Korea remain the only team without a win, an unwanted record they'll look to address in the second session of the day when they face Sweden – who have lost just one game so far.