Early curling upset as Swedes beat Brits

Sweden's curling team stunned Britain's world champions with a 6-4 win on the first day of Vancouver 2010 men's curling competition on Tuesday.

David Murdoch’s Britain were convincingly beaten by the Swedes, the youngest team in the tournament, while Norway, dressed in their garish, multi-coloured

trousers pushed defending Olympic champions Canada to extra ends before

falling 7-6.

Swedish skip Niklas Edin, at 24 the youngest skip in the draw, put in a cool performance as the 2009 European champions had Britain on the rack.

Sweden led 2-1 going into the sixth end, where they earned a key steal.

With his last stone Murdoch could only remove one of two counters, and the lead grew to 3-1.

Edin took command in the eighth when he earned two with a delicate tap-back, replacing Britain’s shot stone in the four-foot with his shooter.

Murdoch put in an inconsistent display. In the ninth, he threw a double takeout for two to pull his rink within one, but then effectively ended the game in the tenth when he overthrew.

“Well it’s actually becoming pretty standard for us. It seems at every championship we play in we lose the first game,” said Murdoch.

Canada, led by skip Kevin Murdoch, overcame some tense moments to wrest a 7-6 victory from the Norwegians.

Norway were 5-1 down at one stage in the fourth end, but scored three in the fifth.

Canada blanked ends six through eight, but was forced to take one in the ninth, and Norway pulled level in the tenth to send it to extra ends.

In the tenth Martin had a tight draw around a Norwegian counter, but pulled it off to earn the victory.

Norway skip Thomas Ulsrud said his team’s trousers, bought from the same company which supplies American golfer John Daly, were causing a minor sensation in Vancouver.

“I think they’re starting to look pretty cool. The chicks dig them but the guys, they’re more (doubtful),” he said.

Germany scored a minor upset over the United States, winning 7-5 thanks to a superb display by skip Andy Kapp while Switzerland saw off Denmark 6-5.

In the second session of the opening day, Canada moved to the top of the table as the only team with a 2-0 record, defeating Germany 9-4.

In the other games, France scored a stunning come-from-behind victory over China, winning 6-5 and Norway defeated the USA 6-5 in an extra end.

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USA curlers celebrate after beating Sweden in Olympic final, despite medal mishap

America's men's curlers produced a dramatic win over Sweden to win their first Olympic gold medal and delight a growing army of fans back home -- and then received the wrong medals.

USA curlers celebrate after beating Sweden in Olympic final, despite medal mishap
Matt Hamilton of the United States and Sweden's Oskar Eriksson during the men's curling final at Gangneung Curling Centre. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Skip John Shuster and his team wore puzzled looks as they realised they had been given women's medals instead of men's after their 10-7 victory on Saturday.

But Shuster brushed off the mix-up as the team celebrated their famous and unexpected victory, which was sealed by a rare five-pointer with two ends to go.

“It's no big deal,” beamed Shuster, who was competing at his fourth Olympics and was part of the USA team that took bronze in Turin in 2006.

“From the first time we stepped onto the ice to the last rock we threw I'll never stop thinking what these guys have done for me,” he added, smiling at his team-mates.

Sweden, whose skip Niklas Edin made a couple of crucial errors, reduced the gap to three points going into the last end but the Swedes finally conceded with one stone left.

Shuster delivered a hammer (last throw) blow that lifted the Americans five points clear 10-5.

“It feels almost unbelievable, but we came out here with great intensity and just had to believe we could do it, and make our shots,” said America's Matt 'Ham' Hamilton.

Carl XVI Gustaf, the Swedish monarch, was amongst the amongst the 3,000 crowd for the final in Gangneung, as was Ivanka Trump, daughter of US president Donald Trump.

The teams were led out for the curling climax by a kilted Korean playing 'Scotland The Brave' on bagpipes, in a nod to the sport's origins in medieval Scotland.

The Swedes were 2-0 up by the second end, but the US team levelled immediately, and went 3-2 up in the fourth end with their yellow stone deemed an infinitesimal amount closer to the tee than Sweden's red.

The irked Swedes make for dangerous foes and they wasted no time bouncing back, skip Edin throwing a perfect hammer to put the Scandinavians back in front at 4-3.

But to enthusiastic support from supporters in stars and stripes, Shuster had his men back in front at 5-4 after a mistake by his opposite number.

Shuster then pulled off his master throw to secure the US a stunning five-pointer to go 10-5 up and earn the US a famous success.

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