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Sweden defends curling gold

AFP/The Local · 27 Feb 2010, 10:13

Published: 27 Feb 2010 10:13 GMT+01:00

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"It was an extraordinary game," Swedish skipper Anette Norberg told AFP news agency, adding that winning back-to-back Olympic gold was a long-held dream.

"That was the goal four years ago. We had a great week but we weren't happy just being in the final.”

The Canadian women were on the verge of thwarting the Swedes after taking a two-point lead into the tenth end, but Sweden stayed cool to draw level before sealing the match in the 11th, silencing a sold out stadium at the Vancouver Olympic Centre.

In a tight match, Sweden led 4-2 at the break but the host nation then edged ahead, going into the tenth with a 6-4 lead in front of a stadium packed with home fans.

Even after being taken into an 11th end, Canada had a golden chance to win but skipper Cheryl Bernard, who blamed herself for failing to seal victory, was unable to make the last shot of the match count.

It sparked wild celebrations in the Swedish camp as King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia looked on.

Canada, supported by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, romped through their qualifying group, with eight wins out of nine, before beating Switzerland in the semi-final.

Sweden had seven wins and beat China in their last-four clash. Norberg said she was proud of her team, whom she described as sisters, saying the Swedish felt they had nothing to lose when trailing by two going into the tenth.

When asked what was going through her mind on Bernard's last shot, she said: "Actually, I didn't think at all but I heard them sweeping all the way down so I understood it was curling a lot and there was a spot where it curled a lot as well so suddenly I understood that maybe she wasn't going to do it."

It was the second consecutive Olympic gold for Norberg, Eva Lund, Cathrine Lindahl and Anna Le Moine.

Story continues below…

A visibly upset Bernard said: "Two shots. I had two shots to win (at ends 10 and 11). You couldn't ask any more of your team and they left them for me and I didn't make them.

"We're going to realise that this was a good feat eventually, the silver, but it's going to take a little bit to get over the loss of the gold, which was so close."

Earlier, world champions China took their first Olympic Games curling medal with a crushing 12-6 victory over Switzerland in the bronze medal match.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:05 February 27, 2010 by Rick Methven
"when defeat seemed 'eminent'

Touch of the Grauniad here LOL
11:13 February 27, 2010 by aussiecobber
I watched it live here this morning in Melbourne. Was a very exciting match. The Swedish women never gave up when facing adversity. Well done to Anette Norberg and her team!
16:08 February 27, 2010 by Greg in Canada
Oh no.................................:-)

Seriously, it was a great final.
16:23 February 27, 2010 by wxman
I think women's curling is a vastly under-rated sport. On the one hand, it teaches them teamwork and good sportsmanship. On the other, it prepares them for marriage by teaching them excellent housekeeping skills. Have you seen how fast and thorough thier sweeping is? ;~)
17:03 February 27, 2010 by peropaco
What a loser game. Its probably way up there with Bowling, peeling grapes, tossing the dwarf and Ko bingo.
23:06 February 27, 2010 by Greg in Canada
I regard Cheryl as a real looker for a woman in her mid 40's. Apparently she works out in the gym six days a week and is in top physical condition.
09:28 February 28, 2010 by repat_xpat
Nice camel toe. Thanks for the pic.
03:30 March 1, 2010 by Davey-jo
"It was an extraordinary game," you bet and everyone who was still awake at the end cheered wildly even though they were dead.
16:52 March 1, 2010 by Proud Canuck
Congratulations Sweden on your win. A very proud moment for everyone involved and very nice that your King and Queen were there to support the team. We are very proud of Cheryl's team as well winning a Silver in her first Olympic run.
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