Sweden and Canada to battle for Curling gold
20 February 2014
CURLING: Sweden and Canada will play for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games women's Curling title after victories in their semi-final games at the Ice Cube Curling Centre on Wednesday.
When they meet in the gold medal game on Thursday, Sweden has the opportunity to win its national olympic committee's third consecutive women's gold, while Canada stays on course to become the first Canadian Curling champions since the late Sandra Schmirler skipped her world champion team to gold at Nagano 1998
In a repeat of the 2012 world championship final when Miriam Ott won Switzerland's first women's world title since 1983 over Maria Prytz and Sweden, Sweden reversed the outcome Wednesday with a 7-5 victory.
Switzerland moved into a 5-4 lead with two in the eighth end, but couldn't restrict Sweden to one in the ninth, so went into the final end a shot back but with the hammer. Switzerland's Ott's first-stone draw wasn't quite good enough to earn shot and even though fourth Prytz couldn't improve the position with her last stone, Ott's final delivery was too heavy and passed through the house without touching anything, leaving a steal of one and victory for Sweden.
In the other semifinal, Jennifer Jones' Canada team remained unbeaten in the competition with a 6-4 victory over Great Britain and can now match the achievement of Kevin Martin's men's team from Vancouver 2010 - to date the only team to take Olympic gold with a perfect winning record.
After scoring two in the first end, Canada stole a single in the second for a 3-0 lead when Great Britain's Eve Muirhead's last-stone takeout only removed one of Canada's counters, but the game's most important moment came in the eighth end.
At 5-3 down and fighting to get back in the game with a two, Great Britain had already blanked the seventh end, but got control of the house in the eighth. Jones produced a perfect double takeout to clear the house and reduce the chance of giving up more than a single, eventually forcing Muirhead to blank another end. That maintained Canada's score advantage at 5-3 with two ends to play.
Great Britain now faces Switzerland in the bronze medal game on Thursday.