Russia downs Norway to book playoff spot at men’s world curling championship

Russia qualified for a playoff spot with victories in Thursday’s morning draw at the BKT Tires & OK Tire World Men’s Curling Championship.

Russia scored two in an extra end to defeat Norway 8-6. It was the second straight extra-end win for Russia, which posted an 8-7 win over Canada on Wednesday.

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Russia and defending champion Sweden, which has also clinched a playoff spot, led the table at 9-2 after 19 draws, with two more draws scheduled for Thursday.

Scotland (8-3) was third, followed by the United States (7-3).

Norway was tied for fifth with Canada at 7-4. The two teams were set to meet in Thursday’s late draw.

Japan, Switzerland, Germany pick up wins

In other action from Thursday morning, Japan beat South Korea 10-7, Switzerland downed the Netherlands 8-4 and Germany beat China 8-4.

The top two finishers in the round-robin earn byes to the semifinals on Saturday.

Teams sitting third through sixth in the standings will compete in qualification games with winners to reach the final four. Medal games are set for Sunday.

The top six teams will also earn spots for their respective countries at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

No spectators are allowed in the WinSport Arena, which was also the case at the recent Canadian men’s, women’s and mixed doubles championships.

Two Grand Slams are next on the bubble calendar before the world women’s playdowns in late April.

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