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Curling worlds canceled; one Winter Olympic sport world championship remains

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Curling world championships for men and mixed doubles were canceled due to the coronavirus on Saturday, leaving one Winter Olympic sport world championship remaining this season.

“It’s with great regret and disappointment that it has not been possible to run all of our flagship World Curling Championships in 2020,” World Curling Federation President Kate Caithness said, according to a press release announcing the mixed doubles cancellation, three hours after the men’s worlds announcement. “But, it’s vitally important to remember that we are not alone in doing so, with fellow sporting bodies around the globe also having to make these difficult decisions. Ultimately our first priority is always the health and well-being of our athletes, officials, fans and staff.”

Men’s worlds were scheduled for March 28-April 5 in Glasgow. Mixed doubles, which made its Olympic debut in PyeongChang, were scheduled for April 18-25 in British Columbia. Women’s worlds, originally scheduled to start Saturday in British Columbia, were canceled Thursday.

All of the other world championships scheduled to start in March were previously canceled or postponed: figure skating, women’s hockey and short track speed skating.

The U.S. women’s team that was entered for worlds included PyeongChang Olympians Tabitha PetersonBecca Hamilton and Aileen Geving.

PyeongChang Olympic champions John Shuster, Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner were on the U.S. team entered for men’s worlds. Peterson and PyeongChang Olympic alternate Joe Polo were the U.S.’ mixed doubles team.

The last remaining Winter Olympic sport world championship is the men’s hockey tournament scheduled for May 8-24 in Switzerland.

The International Ice Hockey Federation Council planned a conference call on Tuesday to discuss the status of men’s worlds.

Other Winter Olympic sports held world championships in February — biathlon, bobsled, skeleton, luge and speed skating.

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World women’s curling championship canceled; other curling worlds being evaluated

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The world women’s curling championship tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus on Thursday, two days before it was to begin in British Columbia.

The decision was made after a recommendation by the province’s health officer.

“Also, the decision was taken considering other major sporting events that have been cancelled in the past 24 hours, and various national travel restrictions that are coming into force around the world,” according to a World Curling press release.

“There is an ongoing evaluation” into the men’s world championships (March 28-April 5 in Glasgow) and mixed doubles worlds (April 18-25), according to World Curling. Those, plus the world men’s hockey championship in May, are the lone remaining Winter Olympic sports world championships this season.

World championships were previously canceled or postponed for figure skating, women’s hockey and short track speed skating.

The U.S. women’s team that was entered for worlds included PyeongChang Olympians Tabitha PetersonBecca Hamilton and Aileen Geving.

PyeongChang Olympic champions John Shuster, Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner are on the U.S. team entered for men’s worlds. Peterson and PyeongChang Olympic alternate Joe Polo are the U.S.’ mixed doubles team.

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John Shuster, U.S. beat Sweden in Olympic curling final rematch

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John Shuster‘s rink beat a Swedish team skipped by Niklas Edin on Sunday in a rematch of the PyeongChang Olympic final. Shuster and co. notched their first tournament title since the Winter Games.

Shuster, along with Olympic gold-medal teammates John Landsteiner and Matt Hamilton, plus new team member Chris Plys, won 3-1 in the final of a stop of the new World Cup in Omaha, Neb.

“We think that this team can be not just a Grand Slam team but a top five team in the world,” Plys, who replaced Tyler George as vice skip this season, said, according to USA Curling. “So far on our performance together I think we’re on the right track toward that.”

It was shades of PyeongChang last week as Shuster’s team rallied from defeat early in the tournament to run the table through the final. At the Olympics, the U.S. underdogs won their last six games. In Omaha, it was the last five.

The Americans qualified for the eight-team Grand Final at the 2022 Olympic host Beijing in May.

The world championship is the first week of April in Lethbridge, Alberta. Shuster’s teams finished third, fourth and fifth at three world championship appearances in the last Olympic cycle before skipping last season’s worlds amid the post-Olympic whirlwind.

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