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Stunning result sees Wright, Team Canada relegated at World Wheelchair Curling Championship

Losses on final day of competition, unlucky final standings see Canada fall from fourth to 10th, drop to ‘B’ division for 2020
Things couldn’t have worked out much worse for Marie Wright and Team Canada in their final game at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Stirling, Scotland on Friday afternoon.

Needing a win in order to have a shot at the playoffs after an 8-4 loss to Estonia earlier in the day, Canada opted to make a change and inserted alternate Colinda Joseph into the line-up at lead in place of Wright for their final round robin game against Scotland.

The end result was a close game that saw Scotland steal one in the eighth to take a 5-3 win.

That saw Canada finish with a 5-6 record in the standings, a middle-of-the-road result that would normally just mean missing the playoffs. In fact, had either Slovakia or Switzerland also lost during the final session, a massive tiebreaker situation would have broken out with as many as six teams having the same record, tied for the sixth and final playoff spot.

Instead, the final result was as dire as can be: due to their wins and losses against the other 5-6 teams, Canada fell from a tie for fourth heading into the day all the way to 10th place overall. The World Curling Federation qualifying system sees the bottom three teams from the main championships relegated to the ‘B’ Division the following year.

As a result, 12th-place Germany (1-10), 11th-place United States (4-7) and, yes, 10th place Canada were all relegated following Friday’s play and will look to finish in the top three in the ‘B’ world championships next season to return to the ‘A’ Division.

Things got off to a decent enough start for Wright, skip Mark Ideson, third Ina Forrest and second Jon Thurston against Estonia, as they picked up a pair in the first end. Estonia got that back the next frame and then went on a steal tear, picking up single points in the third and fourth ends to go along with another deuce in the fifth for a 6-2 lead.

Canada got back on the board with a pair in the sixth, but another Estonia two in the seventh brought things to an early end.

Against Scotland, Canada gave up steals of one in the first two ends, with a deuce in the third tying things 2-2. The two teams exchanged points over the next three ends before Canada blanked the seventh and Scotland picked up their steal in the eighth.

Scotland (7-4) faces Slovakia (6-5) and Switzerland (6-5) takes on Korea (6-5) in the quarter-finals Saturday, with China (8-3) and Norway (8-3) advancing directly to the semifinals.

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