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Brendan Bottcher, Kerri Einarson win Grand Slam of Curling openers

Team Canada skip Brendan Bottcher, left, makes a shot as second Brad Thiessen sweeps against Scotland in the qualification round at the Men's World Curling Championships in Calgary, Alta., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

The reigning national women’s and men’s champions are off to winning starts at the 2021 Grand Slam of Curling.

Kerri Einarson’s Manitoba rink downed Ontario’s Rachel Homan 6-3 in the opening draw of the Humpty’s Champions Cup on Thursday, while Brendan Bottcher’s Alberta team beat Yannick Schwaller of Switzerland 6-4.

Sweden’s Niklas Edin, who captured the men’s world championship on Sunday, lost 6-2 to Alberta’s Kevin Koe.

Ontario’s John Epping, Scotland’s Bruce Mouat and Newfoundland and Labrador’s Brad Gushue also posted wins in their opening games on the men’s side, while Manitoba’s Tracy Fleury and Scotland’s Eve Muirhead were victorious on the women’s side.

The event is the first of two Grand Slams at WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Centre, which already has hosted the Canadian men’s, women’s and mixed doubles championships as well as the men’s world championship.

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READ MORE: Men’s world curling championship in Calgary concludes amid COVID-19 scare 

The women’s world championship will close the Calgary curling bubble next month.

The Slam events feature 12 of the top men’s teams and 12 of the top women’s teams from around the world.

Watch below: Some Global News videos about curling.

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