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Japan finishes fifth at curling world mixed doubles

Kyodo

Satsuki Fujisawa and Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi finished fifth Saturday after beating Sweden 8-7 and Hungary 9-2 on the final day of the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship.

The pair earned Japan its best ever result at the 40-nation event, won this time by Switzerland, but missed out on a bid to become the first Japanese team to appear in the semifinals when they were beaten by South Korea 6-5 in the last eight on Friday.

Russia took silver after a 9-6 loss to Switzerland, and Canada beat South Korea 8-3 for the bronze.

“I felt the difference of a mixed-doubles competition. You can’t win by just doing a four-person strategy,” Fujisawa said.

“It was a great competition in terms of improving my skills,” Yamaguchi said. “We showed that this kind of result can be achieved if Japan’s top players compete.”

Fujisawa, a member of the bronze-winning women’s team at the Pyeongchang Olympics, and Yamaguchi, who was on the men’s team that finished eighth, lost their first two games then won six straight to reach the quarterfinals.