Winter Sports: Edin and Sweden complete Olympic collection with golden crown

Sweden's men's curling team sing their national anthem on the podium after clinching the gold medal, on Feb 19, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (REUTERS, AFP) - Sweden clinched their first men's Olympic curling gold medal after skip Niklas Edin led them to a 5-4 extra-end victory over Britain in a controlled but tensely fought contest at the National Aquatics Centre on Saturday (Feb 19).

Edin read the ice to near-perfection in a close, tactical battle, forcing Britain to draw for one in the 10th end before he delivered the knockout blow in the extra end without playing his final stone.

The door was open for Britain's Bruce Mouat to potentially lie two and seal the win but he could not dislodge the red Swedish rock in the button despite frantic efforts from his sweepers.

There was a literal silver lining for Britain, however, as their second-place finish brought the nation's first medal at the Beijing Olympics, and a tweet of congratulations from the royal family saying "you should be incredibly proud of your performance this week".

Edin's Sweden surprisingly finished runners-up to the United States four years ago in Pyeongchang, while they also won bronze at the Sochi Games in 2014.

"God, it's nice. It's obviously been an incredibly long journey with pretty disappointing defeats in a couple of the previous Games," said the 36-year-old who finished fourth at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

"It feels so crazy, I almost had to ask someone before I came here, 'We have won, right'?"

British skipper Mouat told the BBC: "It's still pretty raw. That's going to be the case for quite a while."

On Friday, Canada beat the United States 8-5 to win bronze and ensure the country avoided a podium shutout at the Olympics, after their mixed doubles and women's teams missed the play-offs.

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