China upends USA at 2009 World Mixed Doubles

April 21, 2009, 12 p.m. (ET)

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - USA's Brady and Cristin Clark got handed their third loss at the 2009 World Mixed Doubles Championship this afternoon at the Olympic Ice Stadium in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.

The Clarks (Lynnwood, Wash.) lost to China's Zhipeng Zhang and Yue Sun, 10-6, to fall to 2-3 in the round robin standings. 

"This is a really tough format without the sweepers. It's a lot tougher when you're jumping up to sweep, and trying to communicate the line. To be honest, I miss my front end," Brady Clark said.

The U.S. took an early lead by stealing a single to open up the match. China would answer with four points though to take a commanding lead. A deuce in the third end and another steal tied the game at 4-4 at the halfway point. After exchanging deuces, China scored a pivotal three points to leave the Americans scrambling for a big end in the eighth. They wouldn't be able to set it up, instead allowing China to steal the final end.

The Americans will need to win out and cross their fingers for a little luck to force a tiebreaker game at the end of the week to even think about the playoffs.

"We gotta win every game; every shot is important," Brady said.

The Americans return to the ice Wednesday to play Denmark (3-2).

Game scores: China 10, USA 6; Czech Republic 8, Wales 3; Italy 10, England 3; France 14, Japan 6; New Zealand 5, Bulgaria 4

Line score:
USA 102 102 00 6
*China 040 020 31 10
*last stone in first end

Standings:
Green Group:
China 5-1
Hungary 5-1
Denmark 3-2
Estonia 3-2
Sweden 3-2
Korea 2-3
USA 2-3
Spain 1-4
Norway 0-5

Blue Group:
Switzerland 5-0
Poland 4-1
Czech Rep. 4-2
Latvia 3-2
France 3-3
Austria 2-3
Japan 2-3
Slovakia 1-4
Wales 0-6

Red Group:
Canada 5-0
Finland 4-1
New Zealand 4-1
Scotland 3-1
Russia 3-2
Italy 2-4
Australia 1-4
England 1-5
Bulgaria 0-5

Results and standings from the competition can be found online at http://www.curlingcortina.dolomiti.org/eng/Event/results.htm

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