FREDERICTON -- Canada's hopes for a three-medal performance at the 2013 world senior and world mixed doubles curling championships took a significant step forward on Thursday.
After some early struggles, Canada's mixed doubles team of Robert Desjardins and Isabelle Neron of Saguenay, Que., moved to within a victory of locking up a tiebreaker berth with an 11-3 win over South Korea's Ahn Jae-Sung and Synn Hyun-Ho.
Desjardins and Neron take on China's Yanlong Ma and Xinna Yu in Thursday's late draw. A win there would set up a third-place tiebreaker with the Russian duo of Alexey Kamnev and Yana Nekrasova on Friday morning.
Meanwhile, Rob Armitage's senior men's team from Red Deer, Alta. won a showdown of unbeaten teams, beating Swedenss Karl Nordlund 5-2 to lock up a berth in Saturday's semifinals.
Later Thursday, Cathy King's senior women's team from St. Albert, Alta., tried to lock up first place and a spot in the semifinals with a victory over Austria's Veronika Huber.
Against the South Koreans, Desjardins and Neron set the tone early, taking four in the first end, and then scoring back-to-back deuces in the fifth and sixth ends.
"We've been raising our game, and we're getting a few breaks, too," Desjardins said. "Some of the games, we weren't playing very well but we weren't getting any breaks, either. When you make half-shots and the opponent makes perfect shots, there's no way you'll win. Now we're making great shots and the opponents are making half-shots."
In the men's game, Canada won its seventh straight and knocked the Swedes (8-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten.
"We played well, and that's exactly what I wanted to see happen out there," Armitage said. "By mid-week we really had it rolling and we were well-adjusted to the ice."
Canada closes out round-robin play on Friday against Wim Neeleman of the Netherlands and Gert Messing of the United States. A victory in either of those games would give first place to Canada.