Schwaller's men make winning start

Andreas Schwaller led his men to a tight opening victory Keystone

The Swiss men's curling team had to fend off a spirited fight-back from the United States before winning their opening match at the world championships in Lausanne.

This content was published on March 31, 2001 - 17:31

After twice coming from behind in the game's early stages, Andreas Schwaller's side moved into a 5-2 lead with just three ends remaining. But the Americans clawed their way back in the penultimate end, narrowing the Swiss lead to 7-5.

The final end saw the United States draw even closer but the single point gained was unable to stop Switzerland winning through by just seven points to six.

The Swiss women's team, meanwhile, made a disappointing start to their world championship campaign, losing both of their Saturday matches.

After being comfortably beaten 9-2 by Russia in the morning, Nadja Heuer's side suffered a narrow 10-8 defeat by Japan in the evening.

The Swiss side scored an impressive three points in the third end of the match to take an early 3-2 lead against Japan. But the Japanese women equalled the feat in the very next end to move 5-3 ahead.

Switzerland came back again as the match moved into the final stages, scoring five points in the sixth and seventh ends. But a late flourish from Japan was enough to guarantee Akiko Katoh's side their first two points of the tournament.

The Swiss team, who need to finish with a medal in Lausanne if they're to secure a spot at next year's Winter Olympics, were one of only three sides to finish the first day without a single point.

swissinfo with agencies

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