Canada close to semifinals in women's curling

STEVE DOUGLAS AP Sports Writer Published:

SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- Canada virtually sealed its place in the semifinals of women's Olympic curling by beating Japan 8-6 on Saturday for a sixth straight win.

No team -- men's or women's -- has failed to advance after winning six round-robin games since the Olympic tournament expanded to 10 teams in 2002.

The race to join the Canadians in the playoffs heated up with Britain beating South Korea 10-8 and China defeating Sweden 7-6.

China, Britain and Sweden are in a three-way tie for second at 4-2. The only other teams likely to stop that trio from qualifying are Russia and Switzerland, both 3-3.

Canada is guaranteed at least to be in a tiebreaker for the playoffs. It will be assured a semifinal spot by beating Russia in Saturday's evening session.