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Swedes move into playoff contention

ANETTE Norberg beat Norway's Marianne Roervik 11-2 to put Sweden into playoff contention at the Women's Curling World Championships in South Korea yesterday.

Sweden, world champion in 2005 and 2006 and also Olympic gold medalist from Turin in 2006, finished the round robin with a win-loss record of 7-4.

China (9-1), Denmark and Canada (both 8-2) were confirmed teams for the playoffs ?? all with one round remaining. Switzerland (6-4) needed to beat top-ranked Canada to have any chance of challenging Sweden for fourth place in the round robin.

Norberg came out strong against Norway after losing her morning match with China. Norberg was leading 6-2 when she slapped a big five-ender on Roervik.

Eve Muirhead's Scottish lineup, needing to defeat Denmark and hope for a Norwegian victory, lost 6-2 to a Danish team led by Angelina Jensen. Muirhead, the three-time world junior champion skip, won her first two games in Gangneung, but the lanky 18-year-old struggled after that and her squad finished 5-6.

Switzerland's must-win came at the expense of Italy, as Mirjam Ott led 3-0 and 5-2 en route to a final 8-5 victory. The Swiss are at 6-4, while Italy's week is finished at 1-10.

Germany's Andrea Schoepp (5-5) beat South Korea's Kim Mi-yeon 9-6, stealing two in the final end. The South Koreans ended up 3-8.

Earlier, China's Wang Bingyu edged Norberg 8-7. Wang scored three in the first end. Norberg ?? the two-time world and Olympic champion ?? made three straight ends to take a 4-3 lead. But Wang replied with a deuce in the fifth and a steal of two in the sixth for a 7-4 lead, which the Chinese never relinquished.

It was Wang's first win in four head-to-head matches with Norberg at the world championships, dating back to 2005. "It does not matter for us, where we finish, after we are in the playoffs," Wang said. "We just want to keep doing well and play well for the last round."


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