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Gushue tops Hood 7-4 at world men’s curling championship

Canada’s Brad Gushue kicked off the first of four straight two-game days Tuesday morning with a 7-4 victory over New Zealand’s Anton Hood at the world men’s curling championship.

The two teams traded singles through the opening four ends. Gushue took control with a steal of one in the fifth and two more stolen points in the sixth end en route to the victory.

Gushue and his St. John’s, N.L.-based team of Mark Nichols, E.J. Harnden and Geoff Walker improved to 4-1 after nine draws at IWC Arena.

“Anton made some really good shots in the second and fourth ends to take away multiple-point ends for us,” Gushue said. “Both were really good shots. I still had a chance in the fourth end and didn’t execute it well, but he made two great shots to keep it close.”

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Canada was scheduled to play American John Shuster later Tuesday.

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In other early games, Switzerland’s Yannick Schwaller defeated Japan’s Shinya Abe 10-4 and Czechia’s Lukas Klima beat South Korea’s Jongduk Park 10-6.

Sweden’s Niklas Edin is the lone undefeated team in the 13-team field at 5-0. Canada, Italy’s Joel Retornaz and defending champion Bruce Mouat of Scotland were tied at 4-1.

Round-robin play continues through Friday night. Medal games are scheduled for Sunday.

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Gushue won gold in his first world championship appearance in 2017 at Edmonton. It was the last time Canada reached the top of the podium at this competition.

The 2006 Olympic champion has won world silver on three occasions since, including last year in Ottawa. His win Tuesday morning improved his all-time world mark to 50-11.

“When you hear it’s 50, it means you’ve been here a lot and it means you’ve won a lot,” Gushue said. “Fifty is a lot of games, so we’ve done something right. At the end of the day, we want to win on Sunday instead of focusing on 50 today.”

The top six teams in the 13-team field will make the playoffs.

After the early draw, Germany’s Marc Muskatewitz, Switzerland and the U.S. were tied in fifth place at 3-2. Czechia was alone in eighth place at 3-3.

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