Sunday Dec. 15, 2013 10:08 ET

U.S., China, Japan qualify teams for Olympic curling

John Shuster will mark 3rd straight Olympic appearance

John Shuster, seen in November, will be looking for another Olympic curling medal. (Dave Wallis/The Forum/Associated Press)

The United States qualified for the men's curling tournament at the Sochi Olympics with an 8-5 playoff victory over the Czech Republic on Sunday.   

The Americans, skipped by John Shuster, seized the advantage in the eighth end by scoring five points for a 7-3 lead.   

The Czechs pulled two back in the ninth, but Shuster's team got another point to secure the last Olympic berth on offer.   

For Shuster, it will be a third straight Olympic appearance. He won bronze as Pete Fenson's third at the 2006 tournament, and will be looking to bounce back in Sochi after a last place finish as skip at the Vancouver Games four years ago.

The Americans had kept their qualification hopes alive with a 7-5 win over South Korea in Saturday's tiebreaker.   

China, Japan to enter women's rinks at Sochi

The U.S. won its final five games at the World Curling Federation's qualification event in the Bavarian town of Fuessen, Germany and the Shuster rink will now be nominated to the U.S. Olympic team pending approval by the United States Olympic Committee.   

"The butterflies of winning for an opportunity like this, they never get old. That's why we play this game," said Shuster.

"These guys work their tails off and they're some of the best in the business. I'm extremely proud of how well our team has playedthe entire season and especially here when we had our backs against the wall," the 31-year-old Shuster added.   


China and Japan both qualified for the women's tournament in Sochi next year by winning their decisive playoffs on Sunday.   

China beat Japan 7-6 in the playoff between the first and second-ranked teams, and Japan later qualified with a 10-4 victory over third-place Norway.





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