Canada dominates curling as at Sochi Olympics

Sochi (Russia), Feb 22: Canada swept both the men’s and women’s curling finals at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, while China made a breakthrough by finishing fourth in the men’s tournament.

The Canadian men, as the defending champions, trounced Britain 9-3 in Friday’s final to win their third straight title, while their women’s team beat Sweden 6-3 Thursday, Xinhua reported.

Canada became the first NOC to sweep the men’s and women’s curling gold at the same Olympic Winter Games.

The Chinese men met Canada in their first ever Olympic semis and lost 10-6.

The Chinese narrowly missed the bronze, defeated by reigning world champions Sweden in a score of 6-4 through the extra end.

China had the advantage over the final ends, but hogline violations by skip Liu Rui in the ninth end and third Xu Xiaoming in the extra end undermined their chance, allowing Sweden to snatch the victory.

The fourth place is the best ranking for the Chinese men’s team at the Olympics, as they only took an eighth in their Olympic debut at Vancouver 2010.

China’s best result in Olympic curling so far was the bronze medal taken by the women’s team in 2010, and this time the Chinese women failed to repeat the glory. They finished four wins and five losses in the round-robin and failed to make it to the semis.

“Our women’s team were not in as good form as they were four years ago, but they still did a good job here,” said Li Dongyan, team leader of the Chinese curling team.

“The men’s team brought some surprise this time,” he added. “They almost won the bronze play-off, but they lost because of the lack of experience. We will try to improve in the future.”

Curling is a young sport in China and Li said they still need time to develop it.

Norway ranked fifth in the men’s curling, followed by Denmark, Russia, Switzerland, the United States and Germany.

On the women’s side, Britain beat Switzerland to win the bronze.

Japan ranked fifth, followed by Denmark, China, South Korea, Russia and the US.

IANS