It took until the final hours of Beijing 2022 but Great Britain finally have a Winter Olympic gold medal.
Eve Muirhead's outstanding women's rink followed the achievement of Rhona Martin's British team at Salt Lake City in 2002, dominating Japan in a final thrashing - winning 10-3 - in which there rarely seemed doubt of who would be standing atop the podium - and in the end victory was achieved with an end to spare.
Muirhead played beautifully, picking her shots with the hammer expertly and controlling affairs throughout, a calm presence at the heart of all Britain did well.
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Indeed the entirety of the gold medal winning team played superbly - lead Hailey Duff set the tone from start to close, third Vicky Wright hit takeout-after-takeout with laser-guided precision to consistently set up her skip, and Jennifer Dodds put doubles disappointment behind her to win her first Olympic medal.
For Muirhead, though, this was a fitting end to a miraculous campaign that appeared destined for disaster in the round-robin. Britain had been some way below their best on several occasions in their early action, and but for a succession of results that all somehow fell in Team GB's favour would have been heading home without a medal.

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But 2014 bronze medallist Muirhead held her nerve come the crunch ties to join Martin in an extremely select group. She adds another global title to her three World Championship wins - British curling's youngest ever Olympic skip now with the crown she so coveted.
Beginning with the hammer, Great Britain took two from the opening end. With one stone from each team adjacent to each other at the back of the button, Muirhead sidled in a lovely shot to nudge the Japanese out of scoring position and get Britain off to a fine start.
Japan answered, scoring one as skip Satsuki Fujisawa found her own range with the hammer in hand. Britain were content to keep the house clean and blank the third.
The fourth was a messier affair, with a congested front of the house and Britain just about in scoring position. Japan forced a stone close but left Muirhead a tough draw to the button to take two. The British skip teased her stone down with words of encouragement but found it over-eager - Britain extending their advantage, but only by a single point.
A canny stone from Muirhead gave a passing peck to the Japanese stone, leaving Fujisawa with limited apparent options to take a score. The Japanese skip erred - Team GB stole one, and suddenly the lead had swelled to 4-1 at the halfway mark.

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While Japan pegged Britain back soon after, it was but a brief interlude in a virtuoso British symphony of stones. A delightfully constructed seventh end came to a conclusion with four British stones in scoring position, with skip Fujisawa and her team unable to consistently force scoring opportunities throughout.
A gorgeous shot from Fujisawa with her penultimate stone of the eighth end gave Japan fleeting hope of an improbable comeback, but Muirhead shut the door on thoughts of two with a well-placed deep guard to take a lead of five into the last-but-one end - and with the hammer.
Wright produced her first mistake of the final, but even that drew a slight smile, such was the British advantage. Muirhead put three into scoring position with another exact shot, and with her final stone, the dagger - two scored, ten to three, and Japan shaking consolatory hands with an end to spare. Dominant.

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The Olympic Games will return with Paris 2024, live on Eurosport and discovery+.
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