Perfect Canada finish with a golden flourish and end Swedish hat-trick hopes in the women’s curling, as Great Britain break new ground to claim the bronze
All-conquering Canada won their first Olympic women's curling gold since 1998, defeating Sweden 6-3 to avenge their defeat in the final at Vancouver 2010. Meanwhile Great Britain clinched the bronze, seeing off Switzerland 6-5 to become the youngest ever rink to win an Olympic medal.
In winning 11 out of 11 games in Sochi, Canada also matched the achievement of Kevin Martin's men's team, who won the title in 2010 undefeated.
They are also the only women's team to have won an Olympic curling medal at every edition of the Winter Games, taking their tally to two gold, one silver and two bronze medals.
With the match all square at 3-3 after the fifth end, as the two rinks matched each other for strategic acumen and accuracy, Canada finally edged in front with a single in the eighth.
The match was effectively decided in the penultimate end, as Sweden's Maria Prytz misjudged an attempted two-pointer, leaving the Canadians with the chance to steal two points for a 6-3 lead. With Sweden running out of stones in the final end, that was how it stayed.
“It's hard to convey how amazing we feel!” said Jones. “The girls just played great. This was just the best week of our lives and the biggest competition of our lives.”
Her third player Kaitlyn Lawes added: “It's a dream come true to be able to be at the Olympics with these girls, it's amazing, they're so talented and I'm so proud of everyone.”
Meanwhile Sweden’s skip admitted that losing such an evenly balanced contest was a blow. “It's really sad not to win,” reflected Margaretha Sigfridsson.
“We will be happy with silver in a little while. This has been an amazing experience, there's nothing else similar to it.”
Earlier in the day, Great Britain’s rink secured bronze to ensure that Sochi 2014 will be their country's most successful Winter Olympic Games in 90 years.
In doing so, they also became the youngest ever rink to win a curling medal at the Winter Games, with an average age of just 23 years and 255 days.
“It's a dream come true,” said Muirhead, who also skipped the British rink to the 2013 world title. “This is the medal we've been missing and to win it with four of my best friends feels so special.”
“That shows what great athletes we are. You have to learn to lose before you can win and get back up from a defeat.
“To lose a semi-final at the Olympics and then come back and play for bronze is extra tough. We regrouped and came out fighting.”