Russia kept their pursuit of a top-four place alive by beating Switzerland ©WCF/Michael Burns

Russia overcame defending champions Switzerland to maintain their pursuit of a top-four place at the World Women’s Curling Championships at the Credit Union iPlex in Swift Current in Saskatchewan.

The Russian team, bronze medallists at the 2015 event in Sapporo in Japan, raced into a 3-0 lead against the Swiss in the evening session and survived a brief fightback from their opponents before claiming a 6-3 success.

The fifth day of competition had started poorly for Russia, led by skip Anna Sidorova, as they suffered a 7-1 thrashing at the hands of in-form Scotland, who had come into the match off the back of six consecutive victories.

On a topsy-turvy day of action, Scotland were unable to replicate that display as they fell to a narrow 7-6 loss at the hands of Switzerland in their second game of the day.

“All good, especially after a tough morning for us,” Sidorova said.

“We're ready to play and hopefully we will win tomorrow.

“I don't like this word - hopefully - we will go and fight for the games.

“When we play our best we know that we can beat everybody.”

Japan strengthened their claim for a play-off place by claiming two victories on day five
Japan strengthened their claim for a play-off place by claiming two victories on day five ©WCF/Michael Burns

Canada’s inconsistent form on home ice continued as they were stunned 8-7 by South Korea in their opener before recovering to enjoy a comfortable 7-1 triumph over Finland in the evening session.

The shock win for the Asian nation came after they had proved too strong for the Finnish team with a 9-6 success.

“I can't explain how happy I feel right now, I'm really happy,” South Korean skip Ji Sun Kim said.

“I thought Canada were a bit nervous [when they came to play that last shot].”

Japan were the other big winners on day five as they earned two victories to move into a four-way battle for top spot on the leaderboard.

The Japanese hammered Germany 8-1 and went on to beat the United States 7-4 in the evening to join Canada, Switzerland and Scotland on a seven win and two loss record.

The top four following the conclusion of the round-robin phase will reach the play-off stage.

The 2016 World Women’s Curling Championships continue tomorrow.