World champions Sweden maintain perfect start in men’s curling
Sweden are the only men's curling team with three wins out of three following their 7-6 win over Canada in Tuesday afternoon's session at the Ice Cube Curling Centre.
In a close contest, the Swedes traded scores with the reigning Olympic champions to leave the match tied at 6-6 going into the final end.
Crucially, world champions Sweden had last stone advantage in the tenth end, and their skip Niklas Edin sealed the win with a well-weighted last stone draw.
And Edin admitted that the contest had been so close that he wasn’t sure who had won following the final end.
“When we shook hands I had to ask them who had won and they told me we had. It was kind of a weird moment not knowing, but we’re happy to get the win.”
In a classic “game of two halves”, Great Britain and Germany also went down to the wire, before a one-point steal with their last stone gave the British a 7-6 win.
“We had a terrible first half, then we really came out flying,” commented British skip David Murdoch. “At half-time, our coach had a good talk with us about believing in ourselves and coming out and playing the way we can, and I think we did that.”
USA and Russia remain without a win
Although USA scored two points in the fourth end to narrow the margin, China scored another two points in the fifth end, when skip Rui Liu took out three USA stones grouped together.
China continued to dominate the second half of the game and emerged as 9-4 winners after eight ends.
“We actually thought our opponents were very strong but they made some mistakes and we made the most of those opportunities,” said a relieved Liu, whose Chinese team now have two wins from two.
In the fourth game of this session, Norway took on the hosts Russia and gave themselves a flying start by scoring two points in the first end and then adding a steal of one point in the second to open up a 3-0 lead.
The Norwegians then maintained the lead throughout, though they suffered a late scare as the Russians scored three times in the tenth end, before the Scandinavians held out for a 9-8 win.
A relieved Norwegian skip, Thomas Ulsrud, paid tribute to their opponents, who have now lost their first three round-robin matches, predicting that they had the potential to becoming a future force on the international curling scene
“They are a young team and have pretty good players,” he said. “They just need a little more experience and training. This Olympics is maybe a bit too early for them.”