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Scotland wins men’s curling worlds; U.S. misses playoffs

Bruce Mouat

BEIJING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 02: Bruce Mouat of Team Great Britain celebrates victory during the Curling Mixed Doubles Round Robin ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at National Aquatics Centre on February 02, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

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Scotland, the home of curling, won its first men’s world title since 2009, while American John Shuster‘s team finished eighth, his worst result in seven world championships as a skip.

Scotland’s team skipped by Bruce Mouat, which won 2022 Olympic silver for Great Britain, beat a Canadian team skipped by 2006 Olympic champion Brad Gushue 9-3 in Sunday’s final in Ottawa.

“The year after the Olympics, where we were gutted with the result, but knew we had created something special when we were there, we knew that if we brought something similar we could definitely win a world championship, and that’s exactly what we did tonight,” Mouat said, according to British Curling.

Scotland ended its longest men’s world title drought since a 24-year gap from 1967 to 1991. Canada, the most successful curling nation in history, last won a men’s world title in 2017 and is in the midst of its longest men’s world title drought since the 1970s.

Gushue did stun Sweden in the playoffs, ending Olympic champion skip Niklas Edin‘s streak of four consecutive world titles (though Edin did arguably pull off the shot of the tournament in round-robin play).

Gushue, 42, was in tears in a TV interview after losing the final to take silver at worlds in back-to-back years.

Shuster, who skipped the U.S. to the 2018 Olympic title, went 5-7 and missed the six-team playoffs. It marked the first time that Shuster missed the playoffs at worlds since 2015 and the only time he has gone below .500 in round-robin play at worlds since becoming a skip in 2007.

“I feel like I’m a better curler now than I was in 2018 when we won gold,” Shuster said last week while his team was 3-6, according to the Ottawa Sun. “But the rest of the world is better, too. A lot of it comes through experience and learning.”

At 40 years old, Shuster also faces a domestic challenge heading toward the 2026 Winter Games, if he bids to tie the U.S. record of six Winter Olympic appearances. The other top American teams have far younger skips -- Korey Dropkin (27) and Danny Casper (21).

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