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Canada’s Kerri Einarson and Brad Gushue defeated Spain 8-6 in their opening game at the world mixed doubles curling championship on Monday.

Einarson, from Camp Morton, Man., and Gushue, from St. John’s, N.L., erased a four-point deficit and stole two points in the eighth end for the victory over Oihane Otaegi and Mikel Unanue.

“I struggled a little bit early just trying to figure out some of the paths, and once I got a handle on that and started making my first shot that made Brad’s shots maybe a little easier,” Einarson said.

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Canada must finish in the top seven to qualify for the mixed doubles discipline at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.

“If we play the way we’re capable of playing, then we should be OK,” Gushue said. “It’s just doing everything we can to make sure we play to the best of our abilities. A little scary start, but I thought the last six ends we were playing like we can play and how we did play at our Canadian championship.”

Canada has a two-game day on Tuesday at the Curl Aberdeen facility.

First up is a game against Germany’s Pia-Lisa Schoell and Klaudius Harsch, followed by a matchup against Hungary’s Dorottya Palancsa and Zsolt Kiss.

Canada is one of 20 teams entered in the competition. Gushue and Einarson are trying to become the first Canadian team to win gold in the event’s 13-year history.

Competition continues through Sunday.

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