Canada tops Finland to start mixed doubles curling worlds

The Canadian Press

4/23/2012 2:31:07 PM

ERZURUM, Turkey -- Canada opened the world mixed doubles curling championship Monday with a 9-5 victory over Finland.

Chantelle Eberle and Dean Hicke of Regina stormed out to an early 7-0 lead and needed only seven ends to complete the win at the Milli Piyango Curling Arena.

In other games, host Turkey edged Slovakia 7-6, China beat Austria 8-4, Latvia crushed France 11-3 and Italy defeated Spain 9-3.

Round-robin play continues through Saturday. Quarter-finals, semifinals and the medal games will be played Sunday.

Canada is one of 27 teams competing at the event. Teams are divided into three round-robin groups -- red, blue and yellow.

Canada will play Austria and France on Tuesday. Other teams in the red group include China, Latvia, Norway, Slovakia and Turkey.

There is one man and one woman on each team and no alternates are allowed.

This is the first time that Turkey has hosted the tournament. The first world mixed doubles curling championship was held in Vierumaki, Finland in 2008.