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Curlers make solid start at world championships

Hürlimann once again lost out to Scotland


Switzerland's men's and women's curling teams have made solid starts at this year's World Curling Championships in the United States.

After losing narrowly to Scotland 7-6 in their opening match at Bismarck, North Dakota, the Swiss, represented by Lausanne-Olympique, stormed to a 13-1 victory over Austria.

The team, led by the experienced Patrick Hürlimann, then beat Finland 9-5 on Sunday to leave themselves in third place - level with the United States and Canada - in the standings. The top four qualify for the semi-finals.

Against Scotland on Saturday, the Swiss held a slim 6-5 lead afterthe ninth end. But a double take-out by Scotland's skipper, Warwick Smith, left Hürlimann rueing another defeat at the hands of one of his bitterest rivals.

However, there was no stopping the 1998 0lympic champion against Austria, as the Swiss notched up their biggest world championship win in 29 years. Austria's skipper, Alois Kreidl, conceded the match after only six ends.

The Swiss women, represented by Manuela Kormann's Zug squad, also bounced back strongly after suffering a 7-4 defeat at the hands of the pre-tournament favourites, Canada.

The team went on to post victories against both Norway and South Korea, before succumbing to the Swedes on Sunday evening. The Swiss now lie in equal fifth place in the table, alongside Sweden and Canada.

swissinfo with agencies

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