Bruce Mouat’s rink fell at the final hurdle as Sweden staged a curling masterclass to edge a tense men’s curling final at Beijing 2022.
The silver medal was Team GB’s first of any colour at the Games, but they were left to rue a loose start as Swedish skip Niklas Edin produced a nerveless display.
It came down to the extra end – tied at 4-4, Sweden with the hammer – as the Swedes duly swept away all of GB’s thorny stones to secure the gold they craved. Edin had skipped Sweden to bronze in Sochi and silver in PyeongChang.
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Crucially, GB started the match with the hammer - meaning they would have the advantage of throwing the last stone in the first end. But Sweden skip Niklas Edin made sure his rink had two lying in the house with his final throw, meaning the best Mouat could do was draw for one. They were off the mark, but only by a slim margin.
Sweden were able to do more with the hammer than their British opponents in the second end, with Edin manoeuvring for a relatively easy two.
GB needed to try and get back on track in the third, but with three stones to play, there was a red stone right on the button that they needed to remove. Edin was piling on the pressure and with two stones to play, Mouat had the issue of having one Swedish stone on the button and another sitting near the top of the house.
The skip produced a superb double take out to remove both of them, but Edin responded in kind with a double take out of his own. Mouat had a chance for one, but his last stone did not turn quite enough and Sweden achieved a steal for a two point advantage.

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Britain retained the hammer in the fourth, but once again Edin’s counter attack was causing GB all kinds of problems. With one shot remaining for both, Sweden were again in pole position to score. Edin put up a guard with his final throw, giving Mouat a difficult shot to go for anything other than one. The skip played it safe, but they had to sweep hard to get it close to the button - and even then, the score needed to be confirmed after a measure.
The hammer was back with Sweden, who had a great chance to increase their lead, and Edin was on fire. It was all about damage limitation for GB and both rinks exchanged take-outs, leaving Sweden scoreless in the end, but they would go in at half-time 3-2 up and with the hammer retained.
There was hope that GB would come out for the second half with renewed energy, but the sixth end went exactly the same way as the previous one, with both teams knocking stones out of the house to again register a blank score.
The seventh end was shaping up to be a scoring end, with guards set up by both. With two stones remaining for both teams, there was a British stone right on the button - but two Swedish rocks were either side of it. Mouat put up a guard and Edin responded with a stone out wide. Mouat again put another guard, making it difficult for the Swedish skip to curl round to take out the British stone. He attempted a take-out instead but it did not work out and Britain had the steal to level things at 3-3.

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With three regulation ends to play, it was extremely tense. Sweden again had the hammer and Mouat played his penultimate shot by clearing the house, with Edin needing to clear two split GB stones. He knocked both away from the button, but only one out of the house. Mouat cleared the yellow stone, which forced Sweden into a decision of whether to blank the end and retain the hammer, or take one and hand the last stone back to GB. Edin took one to go 4-3 up, giving Britain the advantage of having the final rock for the first time since the fourth end.
GB now had a huge chance to put the pressure on at a key point of the match. But Sweden were counter attacking well and had two red stones in the house. It meant Grant Hardie had a big shot to play for a double take-out, which he executed brilliantly, to the delight of the Team GB contingent in the stands.
It meant the skips went through the motions to clear the house, with Mouat throwing his last stone so that they would have the hammer in the final end. Despite being 4-3 down, they would be in pole position to score. It could barely be tighter, and both teams were equal on 92% shot accuracy.
Britain needed one to force an extra end - or two to win the gold. Mouat called a time-out with five stones to play, calling on to the ice head coach David Murdoch - who has been in this position before, when he had to settle for silver at Sochi 2014.

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Hardie played a superb shot to lie for one on the edge of the white ring and that forced Sweden into their own time-out. Suddenly, GB were set for two. The National Aquatics Centre has seen drama at Beijing 2008 but this was a different level for fans of British sport. Edin played a brilliant raise to knock another yellow out of the house. Mouat put another wide of the button which the Swedish skip took out.
It meant all Mouat could do was score one to force an extra end. He delivered under pressure to level the match at 4-4 - but GB would not have the hammer.
All Sweden needed to do is keep knocking British stones out of the house and avoid making a mistake. With four stones remaining, Sweden had a stone on the button with Britain lying one to the right as they attacked. Murdoch was again called down to the ice for a time-out and Mouat started by laying up a guard.
Sweden called their own time-out in response. Edin responded with a mistake, blocking his own red. Mouat had one shot left and he needed to use his own yellow stone to clear the red. But it just missed, and with one throw to spare, Sweden were crowned the winners - sparking wild celebrations for Edin and his team.
In contrast, Mouat struggled to hold back the tears - but he had achieved Britain’s first medal of the Games on the penultimate day. Eve Muirhead’s women’s rink will take on Japan for gold tomorrow.

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