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Canada, Germany on top, Latvia wins first ever at Ford Worlds

Canadian champion Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg executed a spectacular raise-triple takeout with her last rock of the eighth end which served to preserve a 6-4 victory over Switzerland and a 2-and-0 record at the Ford World women’s curling championship, presented by Monsanto, on Sunday afternoon.

Jones and Germany’s idle Andrea Schoepp remained the only undefeated skips in the championship after four draws. Schoepp won her second game earlier while the U.S. team skipped by Erica Brown of Madison, Wis., fell from the unbeaten ranks after two wins. The Yanks were upended 7-6 by rookie Latvia.

“We kept it a little simpler this time,” said Jones, who was scored at 91 per cent on her 19 shots. Leading 5-3 with the hammer in the eighth, the raise-triple was the key, Jones admitted.  “I’d just thrown a bad one so it was a huge momentum change and I knew we needed that,” said Jones. “I didn’t know if we’d scored but you could see the angles were set up.”

Swiss second player Heike Schwaller suffered an embarrassing tumble while sweeping a stone in the early going, fell on her shoulder and smacked her chin on a rock handle but emerged uninjured.

The Latvians, playing in their first-ever world championship, scored a 10th-end deuce to defeat the Americans on a last-rock draw from skip Iveta Stasa-Sarsune.

“We did not expect to win that game,” admitted the Latvia skip from Jelgava. “But (when we scored three in the eighth end to tie the score at 5-5) we believed that we can play better and maybe win.”

Stasa-Sarsune admitted the win over the U.S. probably was bigger than the victory over Katja Kiiskinen of Finland in December that earned the Latvians the berth in the Ford Worlds.

“We were in control until the eighth end,” moaned Brown. “I had some bad misses and it cost us. They played a good end. I had two chances to make a double and didn’t make it either of them. In the end, it was really bad. We had some good chances but I didn’t broom myself properly.”

Brown admitted Stasa-Sarsune “made a lot of good draws…and she made the last one.”

Informed she would be the answer of the newest world curling trivia question — first team to lose to Latvia — Brown allowed:
“Oh good. I’ll get my name in the book one way or another.”

In other afternoon action, Cecilia Ostlund of Sweden rebounded from a first-round loss to Canada and whipped Norway’s Linn Githmark 9-5 while Anna Sidorova of Russia battled from behind to steal a 7-6 extra-end decision from Moe Meguro of Japan.

In the fifth draw later today (7 p.m. CT), Canada faces Denmark, Germany plays Denmark, Sweden goes against Switzerland and defending champion China, winless in two games, plays Scotland.