Italy’s Retornaz Upsets Canada’s Gushue at World Men’s Curling Championship

Italy's Retornaz beats Canada's Gushue

taly’s Joel Retornaz secured a thrilling victory over Canada’s Brad Gushue at the world men’s curling championship, dealing Gushue his first loss of the tournament in a tight 7-6 match at IWC Arena on Monday.

Retornaz clinched the win with a precise draw to the four-foot ring in an extra end, placing his top-ranked Italian squad in a four-way tie with Canada, Germany, and the United States, all standing at 3-1.

Reflecting on the game, Gushue, hailing from St. John’s, N.L., admitted to early struggles with his rocks, particularly in the first half. “I switched them out and took Geoff (Walker’s) and once I got his it was a much different feel,” he explained. “One of my rocks was curling more than the other. It was fooling me and not allowing me to trust where I was putting the broom.”

Sweden’s Niklas Edin (5-0) and defending champion Bruce Mouat of Scotland (4-1) lead the round-robin standings after seven draws, with American John Shuster and Germany’s Marc Muskatewitz also tied with Canada and Italy at 3-1.

In other matches, Sweden claimed a hard-fought 10-8 victory over Norway’s Magnus Ramsfjell in an extra end, while Scotland dominated New Zealand’s Anton Hood with an 8-2 win. Switzerland’s Yannick Schwaller secured an 8-5 victory over Wouter Goesgens of the Netherlands.

With Switzerland narrowly missing the playoff cutline at 2-2, other teams like Norway, the Netherlands, Czechia’s Lukas Klima, and Japan’s Shinya Abe follow closely at 1-3.

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Gushue’s team, comprising Walker, third Mark Nichols, and second E.J. Harnden, will return Tuesday morning against New Zealand (0-4) after being idle for the Monday evening session.

Despite Canada’s strong performance, shooting 90 per cent against Italy’s 87 per cent, Gushue acknowledged his disappointment over early missed opportunities. “For me personally, I missed a couple of shots early that caused that swing of the two and the one,” he reflected. “In the third, we had a mini-opportunity to get the deuce back and it came up light.”

Looking ahead, round-robin play is set to continue through Friday night, with the medal games scheduled for Sunday. Canada, aiming for gold, last claimed victory at this event in 2017 when Gushue led his team to success in Edmonton.

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