Curling: Canada's Gushue tops US skip Shuster in battle of 'relics'

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BEIJING — Canada's Brad Gushue trumped John Shuster of the United States when the Turin 2006 veterans faced off on the Olympic stage for the first time in 16 years in the Beijing Games men's curling competition at the National Aquatics Center on Sunday.

Gushue, 41, stole four critical points in the second end to propel Canada to a 10-5 victory over the U.S., further denting the reigning champions' hopes of reaching the semifinals after handing them their third defeat in five games so far.

"There's a few of us relics still kicking around," said Gushue, who took on the 39-year-old Shuster as well as Italy skip Joel Retornaz, 38, en route to winning gold at the 2006 Games in Turin.

"I enjoy playing John, he's a fun guy. We've been around a long time and battled lots over the years."

Gushue will face Retornaz on Monday, after Italy bounced back from a 10-7 loss to the Russian Olympic Committee to beat Switzerland 8-4 and claim their first round-robin victory.

Shuster also recovered to deliver an 8-6 win in a close contest against China, executing the perfect throw in the final end to seal victory and snap the Americans' two-game losing streak.

Niklas Edin's Sweden left it late to steal a 6-4 win over neighbours Norway and retain their place at the top of the standings with an unbeaten record after five games.

Sweden grabbed a critical point in the ninth end to level the scores before adding two more when Norway skip Steffen Walstad narrowly missed his take-out target with the last stone of the match.

World silver medalists Britain saw off hosts China 7-6 despite only scoring in two ends before registering a ruthless 8-2 victory over Denmark, who remain winless after five games.

In the women's competition, Canada lost their third game in a row after falling 8-4 to world champions Switzerland, with skip Jennifer Jones stuck in a rut since opening the Olympic campaign with a win.

Back-to-back misses from Jones, gold medalist at Sochi 2014, in a disastrous eighth end swung a tight contest back in favour of the Swiss — the only team with a perfect record after five games so far.

Reigning champions Sweden beat the United States 10-4 as mistakes from Tabitha Peterson's side added up and were too much for the Americans to overcome.

Hosts China delighted the home crowd with a 6-5 extra-end win against South Korea, while Britain eventually won 7-2 after a cagey tussle with Denmark, who kept pace until the ninth end but cracked first to concede three points and the match.

Teams play nine matches in the round-robin stage, which continues on Monday, with the top four advancing to the semifinals.


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Hritika Sharma


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