Einarson falls to US for third straight loss at world women's curling championship

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CALGARY — Canada's Kerri Einarson struggled mightily at the LGT World Women's Curling Championship on Sunday, dropping a 7-6 decision to the United States for her third straight loss.

Einarson shot just 54 per cent overall in her worst game of round-robin play. The Americans improved to 3-2 while Canada slumped to 1-4.

The Manitoba-based foursome was tied for 11th place in the 14-team field. The top six teams will make the playoffs.

Einarson flashed a stone in the fourth end and wrecked on a guard in the fifth to miss out on multiple points.

American skip Tabitha Peterson made a nice pick to score a deuce in the eighth end for a 7-3 lead. Einarson rebounded with a pair in the ninth but the U.S. sealed the victory with a takeout of the second shot stone in the 10th end.

The morning draw was postponed Sunday and competition eventually resumed without television coverage after members of the event's broadcast staff tested positive for COVID-19.

In an email to The Canadian Press, World Curling Federation media head Christopher Hamilton confirmed there were four positive cases. No names or additional details were provided.

The individuals were isolating in their hotel while additional testing and contact tracing takes place, the WCF said in its statement.

The staffers are staying in a different hotel than athletes and competition officials, who were cleared to return after a deep clean of the WinSport Arena.

The WCF said that all scheduled testing for athletes and competition officials returned negative results. The start times for the afternoon and evening draws were pushed back a half hour.

Einarson was scheduled to return to action Monday with games against Germany's Daniela Jentsch and South Korea's EunJung Kim.

Television broadcasts will resume no earlier than Tuesday afternoon. The competition is part of TSN's Season of Champions coverage and is broadcast internationally by World Curling TV.

"Thanks for the good wishes," TSN broadcaster Vic Rauter said on Twitter. "We are quarantined, tested, cared for, hope to be back Tuesday, take care of yourselves and each other."

Earlier in the week, organizers cancelled the opening practice sessions after two members of the German team tested positive for COVID-19 in pre-tournament screening upon arrival in Calgary.

Practice sessions were eventually held Thursday on the eve of round-robin play. The German team was given an exemption to compete as a three-player team while players who tested positive remained in isolation.

This year's women's championship, which was relocated from Switzerland because of the pandemic, is the seventh and final curling event to be held in the bubble. The spectator-free controlled environment is designed to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Canadian women's, men's and mixed doubles championships were followed by the men's world championship and a pair of Grand Slam events.

The men's world championship playoffs were interrupted by four participants testing positive for the coronavirus. The championship was completed April 11, however, with the WCF stating the cases were "false positives."

Those affected tested negative in subsequent screenings.

Teams are confined to the arena and the tournament hotel across the Trans-Canada Highway. They drive themselves back and forth and masks are mandatory once athletes step off the field of play.

Organizers have yet to determine when the postponed draw will be played.

Playoff games are set to begin Friday night. The medal games are scheduled for May 9.

Jennifer Jones was the last Canadian skip to win this event, taking gold in 2018 at North Bay, Ont. Chelsea Carey skipped the Canadian entry in 2019 at Silkeborg, Denmark, but did not make the playoffs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 2, 2021.

The Canadian Press