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Page last updated at 01:20 GMT, Thursday, 25 February 2010

GB men's curlers out after losing to Sweden

David Murdoch shakes hand with Swedish Skip

Britain men out of chase for curling medals

Great Britain's hopes of a medal in the men's curling ended with a 7-6 defeat by Sweden in a tense play-off.

GB skip David Murdoch, Euan Byers and Ewan MacDonald all made mistakes in an error-strewn first five ends but they remained in contention at 5-3 down.

Sweden's skip Niklas Edin began to feel the pressure and allowed Murdoch's team to steal singles and draw level at 5-5.

Trailing by one in the 10th, Murdoch levelled to send the game into an extra end but Edin won with a take-out shot.

Sweden move on to a semi-final against favourites Canada, while reigning world champions Britain are left to reflect on an early exit.

Murdoch described the defeat as "heartbreaking", adding: "We came here in a good position as world champions.

Sometimes it doesn't go for you and this week it just didn't go for us at all

GB skip David Murdoch

"In the last two years we pretty much trained six days a week and have done everything we possibly could to be in the best preparation possible and the best shape of our lives.

"Sometimes it doesn't go for you and this week it just didn't go for us at all.

"Unfortunately curling is a game of inches and we lost a couple of games by a couple of inches."

Britain were on the back foot from the opening end of the play-off after lead curler Byers missed a routine take-out to allow Edin to patiently play out for a 2-0 lead.

Murdoch hit back in the second end to draw level, but he missed a take-out in the next as European champions Sweden opened up a 4-2 lead.

A MacDonald mistake led to Sweden stealing one in the next end before Murdoch was forced to draw for one in the fifth.

Swedish skipper Niklas Edin

Last stone drama for GB men curlers

After the mid-match break, Murdoch played the shot of the game, drawing into the middle of the rings for a well-guarded one, which forced Edin to throw his final stone away.

Another steal followed in the seventh end when Edin failed to clear both of Britain's counters to level at 5-5, but Edin stopped the rot by taking one in the eighth.

After the ninth end was blanked, Murdoch needed to engineer two shots in the 10th to win the match.

However, a slight error with his final stone allowed Edin a double take-out opportunity, which he converted to force the British skip to take one and send the game into an extra end.

Sweden, with last-stone advantage, continually cleared British guards to keep the end open and Edin duly won with a simple take-out that removed Britain's stone and left his in the house.

The Swedes will play Canada, who are the only team in Olympic history to reach the semi-finals with a perfect nine wins from their nine group matches, in Thursday's semi-final.

"We know they are the best team here," said Edin. "We have nothing to lose and they have pretty much everything to lose."

Norway will play Switzerland in the other last four clash, with both games starting at 2200 GMT.

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see also
GB's curlers face Sweden play-off
24 Feb 10 |  Curling
GB men edge closer to semi-finals
23 Feb 10 |  Curling
GB women bow out with Canada loss
23 Feb 10 |  Curling
David Murdoch's video profile
15 Jan 10 |  Curling
Event guide: Curling
12 Nov 09 |  Curling

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ESPN Star Brits out of curling in Vancouver - 1 hr ago
London Evening Standard Winter Olympics: Devastated bobsleigh Brits crash out - 32 hrs ago
Portsmouth Today More Olympic disappointment for Murdoch - 39 hrs ago
Clyde 2 GB Medal Hopes Come Crashing Down - 41 hrs ago
Observer Britain's curlers knocked out by Sweden - 52 hrs ago


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