Road To The Olympic Games

Curling

Chelsea Carey looking to get back on track at Players' Championship

Calgary skip Chelsea Carey took a break from curling after coming home from a disappointing performance at the recent world women's championship in Denmark.

Calgary skip took a break from curling after disappointing result at worlds

Calgary skip Chelsea Carey, shown at the Scotties in February, took a break from curling after a disappointing performance at the women's world championship in Denmark. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

Calgary skip Chelsea Carey took a break from curling after coming home from a disappointing performance at the recent world women's championship in Denmark.

She didn't throw stones for almost a week once she returned. The respite gave her a chance to rest some nagging aches and pains and gave her time to decompress after a surprising eighth-place finish.

"My body was pretty much a mess after worlds and partially because I needed the break," Carey said Thursday. "So yeah, you take some time, at least a few days, to try not to think about it.

"It's hard not to think about it."

After a stirring comeback victory over Rachel Homan in the national final, Carey was tabbed as a contender at the worlds but never really got on track.

She missed the six-team cut after finishing in a three-way tie at 6-6. It was the first time a Canadian team had missed the playoffs at the event in 20 years.

Switzerland's Silvana Tirinzoni went on to beat Olympic champion Anna Hasselborg of Sweden 8-7 in the final. South Korea, Russia, China and Japan were the other playoff teams.

On the heels of the 2018 Winter Olympics, the competition was another example of how international teams have caught up to or surpassed Canada — a longtime curling powerhouse — on the world stage.

"They're working really hard at the game and they're getting really good at it and they are really good at it," Carey said. "It's not even like they're coming, it's they're here. It's happened."

Carey noted the field at this week's Players' Championship is indicative of what has become a new normal on the elite curling scene. Five of the 12 women's entries are international teams.

Reigning Olympic champ in the lead

Sweden's Anna Hasselborg took sole possession of first place in the Players' Championship women's standings in Thursday's evening draw with a 6-3 win over Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta.

The reigning Olympic gold medallists maintained her unblemished record moving to 4-0. Scheidegger dropped to 3-1.

Robyn Silvernagle of North Battleford, Sask., is the only other undefeated club on the women's side sitting at 3-0 in the opposite pool.

Elsewhere, Japan's Satsuki Fujisawa and Sayaka Yoshimura both scored their first victories of the tournament and improved to identical 1-3 records. Fujisawa got on the board with an 8-2 win over Carey (2-2) while Yoshimura edged Kerri Einarson (1-3) of Gimli, Man., 5-4 in an extra end.

Earlier Thursday, Carey and her team of third Sarah Wilkes, second Dana Ferguson and lead Rachel Brown earned a 6-4 victory over Winnipeg's Kerri Einarson at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto.

In men's play, Calgary's Kevin Koe downed Niklas Edin of Sweden 6-2 in a rematch, but not a repeat, of Sunday's world championship gold-medal game.

Toronto's John Epping scored two in the eighth end to defeat Peter de Cruz of Switzerland 6-5. Epping improved to a 2-2 record while De Cruz dropped to 1-3.

Round-robin play continues through Friday night.

The Players' Championship finals are set for Sunday. Winning teams receive $30,000 apiece from a total purse of $300,000.

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