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Men’s curling world championship playoffs on hold due to coronavirus

Pacific Asia 2012 Curling Championship

NASEBY, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 25: General view of curling stones during the Pacific Asia 2012 Curling Championship at the Naseby Indoor Curling Arena on November 25, 2012 in Naseby, New Zealand. (Photo by Rob Jefferies/Getty Images)

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The world men’s curling championship was put on hold during the playoff round due to positive coronavirus tests within the Calgary bubble, World Curling announced Friday night.

The first game on Saturday morning -- the U.S. vs. Switzerland for a spot in the semifinals against Russia, originally set for 11 ET -- will not be played as scheduled.

“All playoff teams will undergo testing on Saturday morning, and until the results are clear and it’s known that the players are safe, no further games will be played,” according to World Curling.

Before the tournament was put on hold, Scotland beat Canada for a place in the other semifinal against top seed and defending champion Sweden.

The six teams that made the playoffs qualified 2022 Olympic quota spots (Scotland for Great Britain), including the U.S. rink that includes three members of the 2018 Olympic champion team (John Shuster, Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner).

The team that will represent the U.S. at the 2022 Winter Games will be determined at an Olympic Trials in the autumn.

The U.S. has made the playoff round at six consecutive Olympics and world championships, with Shuster skipping five of those teams. The U.S.’ last medal at men’s worlds was a bronze in 2016.

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