Sweden took advantage of two Chinese errors to claim the bronze medal in men's curling at the 2014 Winter Games, beating their opponents 6-4 to confirm a triumphant finale to their Sochi tournament.
The Europeans achieved victory after an extra end, as reported by Colleen Jones of CBC:
A tight opening saw Niklas Edin help Sweden into the lead after End 2, but China levelled with the hammer right afterwards.
Competitiveness really picked up during End 4, when Liu Rui floated two consecutive stones into a tight corridor on the tee. Edin smashed the first away before just sneaking in for one, giving Sweden the lead.
Rui was forced into an aggressive move down the middle in End 5, which saw the Chinese skip smash three stones away from danger. China were unable to level the score when the hammer passed back to Sweden, but Edin left the target wide open during the next end.
With one shot to go in the sixth, Rui easily knocked away Sweden's sole stone, adding a much-needed two to the score. Sweden levelled with the hammer, but China's intelligent defence stopped the Europeans from accumulating a brace.
China called a timeout to make a huge decision during End 8, which provided the young team an excellent chance to go for two. It didn't materialise, providing Sweden with a huge let-off as the sides headed towards a thrilling conclusion.
Rui failed to let go of the stone during his penultimate shot of the next end. China's second error in quick succession left the tee wide open for Sweden, who took their time before delivering a simple shot just outside the centre.
Rui followed his mistake with a smart response to take one point, giving China a 4-3 lead going into End 10.
China had four stones surrounding one of Sweden's as Edin decided to send his final shot to the wall. The skip trusted his judgement in a decision that came down to a few millimeters' difference. Sweden levelled, sending China into the next end with the advantage of the hammer. Jones highlighted just how close the decision was:
Another Rui error, which saw him push the penultimate stone wide, left a huge gap for their opponents to utilise in the extra end. Sweden didn't need to play a particularly fancy shot, and they just managed to place their stone in a position that gave Rui little room to manoeuvre with his final attempt.
The Chinese skip failed to sneak the last stone of the match into a minimal gap, handing Sweden the bronze. Sam Sheringham of BBC Sport described the atmosphere after the contest:
There are hugs and tears of jubilation on the ice for Sweden, while Chinese skip Rui Liu looks a picture of despair. Swedish coach Eva Lund embraces every one of her charges before the whole team unites in a joyous huddle while yellow and blue flags are waved in the crowd.
Attention now turns toward the men's final, which sees Great Britain take on Canada to end a thrilling competition in Sochi.
The British men have never beaten Canada in Olympic curling and will need to continue their impressive form to stand any chance against the confident North Americans.
Canada's team is performing admirably across the board—highlighted by a memorable comeback win in the women's gold medal hockey match—suggesting Britain face a major challenge to halt the nation's momentum.
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