Canada edges Italy at world mixed doubles curling championship

Kerri Einarson, right, and Brad Gushue. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

ABERDEEN, United Kingdom -- Canada has clinched a spot in the mixed doubles curling competition in next year's Beijing Olympics.

Kerri Einarson and Brad Gushue wrapped up the berth with a 7-6 win over the Czech Republic on Friday at the world mixed doubles championship.

Later, Canada completed the round-robin portion of the tournament with an 11-6 win over Russia, pushing Einarson and Gushue's record to 7-2.

The top seven at the 20-team event earn Olympic berths for their countries.

Canada finished second in Group A and will face Switzerland (5-4) in a qualification game on Saturday. The winner goes to the semifinals.

Gushue, from St. John's, N.L., and Einarson, from Camp Morton, Man., are trying to become the first Canadian team to win gold in the event's 13-year history. Canada has reached the podium (two silver, one bronze) at the last three editions of the competition.

Scotland and Sweden won their groups to advance directly to the semifinals. The second- and third-place teams in each pool will cross over and play qualification games.

Competition continues through Sunday.

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