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Curlers suffer setback

Hürlimann was given a masterclass by the Canadians


Swiss hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the World Curling Championships have suffered a setback after a disappointing day for both men's and women's squads.

The men's team, led by the experienced 1998 Olympic champion, Patrick Hürlimann, started Monday's action in the United States in equal third place after impressive wins over Austria and Finland on Sunday.

But successive defeats in Bismarck, North Dakota, on Monday at the hands of the impressive Canadians and the United States saw the Lausanne-Olympique team slide to fifth place. Only the top four qualify for the semi-finals.

While Canada always represented a tough proposition, the Swiss would have been hoping to come away with a win against the Americans. But it was the United States who came through at the death, taking the deciding end 1-0 with the scores tied at 7-7.

Against the powerful Canadians, Hürlimann and his teammates were simply outgunned right from the start. The Swiss were 3-0 down after the first end and conceded the match after nine ends, with the score standing at 11-4 in favour of the Canadians.

Switzerland's women, captained by Manuela Kormann, also slipped down a place in the tournament standings after losing to Russia in a tight match.

Again the game went to the wire, with the scores tied at 7-7 after ten ends, but it was the Russians who finished stronger to snatch victory 9-7.

swissinfo with agencies

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