China stun Sweden in opening salvo at Curling Grand Final
China snaffled an 'unbelievable' win over recently-crowned world champions Sweden on the opening day of the Curling World Cup Grand Final in Beijing.
Under skip Zou Qiang, the Chinese limited the Swedes to just one point in the penultimate end after the two teams had traded blows across eight ends in the opening session of the men's competition.
Zou Qiang's final shot secured the win and the Shougang Arena went wild in celebration of an unexpected victory for a remodelled rink.
"It’s an unbelievable start and we’ve already got good communication with each other," said Qiang.
"They [Sweden] are a best team in the world and this game was really tough, so we’re just happy with our first win in the strong field."
On a thrilling night of action between the eight teams contesting the Grand Final, Switzerland overcame an off-colour Canada with a 6-2 victory.
Yannick Schwaller's rink made it an uncomfortable start for the Canadians, causing their skip Kevin Koe to make a couple of rare mistakes including a chance to score two in the sixth end that saw the game slip away.
Scotland looked in fine fettle as they beat Norway 9-5, aiming to continue their fine record at the Curling World Cup.
Ross Paterson's outfit were pushed to their limit but a faultless closing three ends when they conceded zero points paving the way for the win.
"We talked a lot about starting sharp and we did that with our early lead. Maybe a couple of wrong calls in ends four and five put us under pressure and let them back into the game," said Paterson.
"We would have been disappointed if we let it slip away. These guys have been around for so long and achieved everything. I think it is important for us as a team to put our stamp down and win games like this."