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Olympic medallists score wins at Ford World Women’s Curling Championship

NORTH BAY, Ont. – There were several Olympic medallists on the ice at the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship Tuesday evening and all three of them – Jennifer Jones of Canada, Anna Hasselborg of Sweden and EunJung Kim of South Korea – came away with victories.

Jones, the 2014 gold medallist, and Hasselborg, who won it this year, had to work to the final stone to get their wins while Kim, the 2018 silver-medal winner, cruised to an easy, and early, victory. Jones beat Hannah Fleming of Scotland (1-6) 8-6, Hasselborg got by Binia Feltscher of Switzerland (2-5) 5-4 and Kim cruised past Yilun Jiang of China (3-4) 12-3 in six ends.

The results left Sweden at 7-0, Canada at 6-0 and South Korea at 5-1.

Jones, third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer, lead Dawn McEwen, alternate Shannon Birchard and coaches Wendy Morgan and Elaine Dagg-Jackson needed a measurement to get one in the first end and stole two in the second when Fleming’s last-rock draw came up light.

But the Scottish foursome got two back in the third, three in the fifth and stole one in sixth to take a 6-4 lead. Canada got three in the seventh and when Fleming’s last-rock draw in the 10th rubbed a guard, Canada had its victory in front of another noisy crowd in the North Bay Memorial Gardens.

“I didn’t feel like it was a struggle. We were up 3-0 after two ends so I thought that was good,” said Jones. “Just a couple of shots in the middle that got us behind. We made a real big shot for the three, that felt great. And the last end we played real well. My last rock I thought had to curl maybe an inch more but turned out it was perfect because she rubbed on it.”

Swedish skip Anna Hasselborg celebrates her team’s win over Switzerland. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Hasselborg, who beat Kim for the gold medal in Gangneung, South Korea, last month, struggled early, giving up a single to the Swiss in the third and a steal of one in the fourth. But she made a perfect draw to the button around cover with her final stone in 10 to score two and take the narrow victory.

“We love those draws and those shots,” said Swedish lead Sofia Mabergs, adding it was a good game to get the team back on track.

“I welcome that game, it was a good team effort, a lot of good team shots that all four of us get involved. We missed that for a couple of games earlier, it was like a one-woman show pretty much. Yeah, we needed this game and we executed well.”

In the only other game Anna Kubešková of the Czech Republic (4-3) scored three in the 10th end and stole one in 11 to nip Angelina Jensen of Denmark (1-5) 9-8.

Victoria Moiseeva of Russia (4-2), Diana Gaspari of Italy (2-5), Tori Koana of Japan (3-3), Jamie Sinclair of the United States (3-3) and Daniela Jentsch of Germany (1-5) all had byes.

The 2018 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship continues Wednesday with draws at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (all times ET).

Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2018 Ford World Women’s are available at www.worldcurling.org/wwcc2018/livescores

TSN and RDS2 will provide complete coverage of Canada’s games at the 2018 Ford World Women’s. Go to www.tsn.ca/2017-18-curling-broadcast-schedule-1.593081 for the complete schedule.

For ticket information for the 2018 Ford World Women’s, go to www.curling.ca/2018worldwomen/tickets/

This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2018worldwomen/?lang=fr