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U.S. Winning Streak Ends at Curling Worlds

March 22, 2005

PAISLEY, Scotland (AP) _ The United States lost for the first time at the World Women’s Curling Championship, a 6-4 defeat to Sweden on Tuesday that ended the Americans’ six-game winning streak.

The world championships of 2003, 2004 and 2005 determine spots for next year’s Turin Olympics. The top nine nations from those tournaments, plus host Italy, qualify. Canada is ranked first with 22 Olympic qualification points, followed by the United States with 19, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Scotland.

At the worlds, Sweden moved to first in the standings with a 6-0 record in the round-robin part of the tournament. Against the Americans, the Swedes took a 4-2 lead in the eighth end before the United States rallied in the ninth and 10th to force an extra end.

The United States _ with Cassandra Johnson as skip and joined by Maureen Brunt, Jessica Schultz and Jamie Johnson _ dropped to a tie for second with Norway at 6-1. Canada is 5-2 and in fourth place. Scotland, which won the gold medal at the 2002 Olympics representing Britain, is fifth at 3-3.

In Tuesday’s other results, it was: Norway 10, Switzerland 4; Scotland 8, Italy 1; and Canada 13, Japan 7.

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