Canada’s Kerri Einarson faces a Herculean climb to the World Women’s Curling Championship playoffs.
The host nation ended a four-game losing streak with an 8-4 win over South Korea on Monday.
At 2-5, Einarson was still perilously close to finishing outside of Friday’s top six teams that advance to the qualifying round in Calgary.
Curling fans wanting to watch the Canadiens attempt the feat on TV or live have been left in limbo.
Positive tests for the COVID-19 virus, dropping from four to seven among broadcast staff, will prevent matches from broadcasting on Wednesday.
The Canadians stole four points in the seventh to ninth end in a morale-boosting victory over Kim Eun-jung, whose team won Olympic silver in 2018.
“I really love to smile, so now I have something to smile about,” Einarson said. “We really needed this victory to build our confidence.”
Canada were beaten 6-2 in the morning by a short-staffed three-man German team led by Daniela Jentsch.
An 8-5 record made the cut in the playoffs at the men’s world curling championship last month.
Einarson, vice Val Sweeting, runner-up Shannon Birchard and head Briane Meilleur out of Manitoba’s Gimli Curling Club face six more draws in an attempt to avoid elimination.
“It’s still in our hands,” said Meilleur. “All we can do is win the rest of the games and see what happens.”
The top six also qualify their country to compete in women’s curling at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games.
If Canada finishes outside that group, a team will have to qualify the country at a WCF tournament in December following Canada’s trials in Saskatoon in November.
Due to the uncertainty surrounding the fall schedule, Curling Canada has yet to determine whether this team will be the try-out winner or another foursome.
Einarson shed a few tears on Sunday after a third straight loss. She then connected with her family and friends virtually to cheer him up.
“I cried well. I just have to take it out for a while, ”Einarson said.
The captain’s delicate uproar to lie three in the eighth end gave the Canadiens some momentum in the afternoon’s draw.
“I was actually shocked it was done because it was so difficult, but it was a great shot and she threw it perfect,” said Meilleur. “We really needed it at the time.”
Game broadcasts were suspended on Sunday and the morning draw postponed when four television staff members were affected by the coronavirus.
No games will be broadcast until Wednesday afternoon’s draw, the World Curling Federation said.
“Broadcast staff remain isolated in their hotel and await the results of additional tests, including tests for the variants of concern,” WCF said in a statement on Monday.
The television contingent does not stay in the same hotel as the teams.
Germany’s second Klara-Hermine Fomm and substitute Emira Abbes continued to self-isolate in their hotel rooms due to testing positive for the virus ahead of the start of the tournament.
So Jentsch says she and her two teammates felt no pressure against Canada.
“It’s hard when you have the maple leaf on your back,” Jentsch observed. “Everyone has high expectations and I think they’re a great team.
“They just aren’t there yet, but for us it’s easy to play against a team that is already a bit broken. We have nothing to lose. “
Russia and Switzerland remained undefeated at 6-0 and 5-0 respectively ahead of Sweden and China (4-1) and Scotland and the United States (4-2).
Germany (3-3), the Czech Republic and Japan (2-3) still ranked above Canada tied with South Korea at 2-5.
Denmark and Italy each scored a win and Estonia went winless in five games.
The 2021 LGT Women’s World Curling Championship, originally scheduled for March in Switzerland, was moved to Calgary when Swiss health officials refused to sanction the tournament.
The tournament is the seventh and final curling event held without spectators at the Markin MacPhail Center.
Einarson won the National Women’s Championship which launched the Calgary curling bubble in February.
The men’s world championship was scared of the coronavirus on its last weekend when four participants tested positive.
The event did reach the finish line, however, when it was determined that these tests were “false positives”.
The mixed doubles world championship in Aberdeen, Scotland, where Einarson and Brad Gushue will represent Canada, will take place May 17-23.