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Sweden's women win curling Olympic gold in Vancouver

Sweden's women's curling team celebrate winning gold

Canada throw away gold on last stone in curling final

Defending champions Sweden shocked hosts Canada to win gold in a dramatic women's curling final on Friday.

Canada led 6-4 going into the final end but a mistake by skip Cheryl Bernard allowed Sweden to level and take the match into an extra end.

Bernard again had the final shot for glory but a second mistake allowed Sweden to edge to a 7-6 victory.

Earlier, world champions China survived a Swiss comeback to win the bronze medal with a 12-6 victory.

But the big story of the night was Canada's failure to get over the finishing line with the gold medal seemingly there for the taking.

Canada had looked on course to win their ninth gold medal of the Games after stealing two in the seventh end to take a 5-4 advantage.

It was one of those shots I will not forget

Canada skip Cheryl Bernard on the late drama

Another steal in the ninth saw them lead 6-4 but Bernard's routine shot in the 10th failed to curl enough and Sweden's Anette Norberg held her nerve to level the match.

With Canada holding the hammer Bernard then had the chance for a double take-out to win the gold but her final stone jarred and Sweden stole one to win 7-6.

"I rubbed it and I missed," admitted Bernard.

"It was so close. It was one of those shots I will not forget.

"Two shots. I had to shots to win. 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."

While Bernard will be left to reflect on her agonising near miss, Sweden's Catherine Lindahl admitted her team had been let off the hook.

Sweden beat Canada in curling final

Sweden beat Canada in curling final

"We got nervous after the fifth end and we got shaky, and she (Bernard) got shaky in the last two ends," added Lindahl.

"We thought it was over. I'm so happy."

In the bronze medal match, China dominated early on and sped to a 5-1 lead after the third end.

Switzerland launched a comeback, with an inch-perfect shot from skip Mirjam Ott forcing an an error from China skip Bingyu Wang, to pull it back to 5-4.

But China picked up two in the seventh end to go 8-6 up and, after they scored with four stones in the eighth end to go six clear, the Swiss conceded.

For Ott it was a disappointing end to the Olympics after the Swiss brought home back-to-back silver medals from the last two Games.

But for the jubilant Chinese, who were beaten by the GB women's team earlier in the tournament, the medal capped a meteoric rise for the country with only 200 curling participants.

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see also
Canada's women into curling final
26 Feb 10 |  Curling
Canada curlers make Olympic final
26 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Winter Olympics weather
26 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010

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