2022 Beijing Olympics – Curling – Men’s Gold Medal Game – Sweden v Britain – National Aquatics Center, Beijing, China – February 19, 2022. Christoffer Sundgren of Sweden, Vice Oskar Eriksson of Sweden and Rasmus Wranaa of Sweden and Daniel Magnusson of Sweden react after winning the game. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
February 19, 2022
By Hritika Sharma
BEIJING (Reuters) -Niklas Edin led Sweden to their first men’s Olympic curling gold medal with victory over Britain in the final at the National Aquatics Centre on Saturday.
Sweden triumphed 5-4 in the extra end, making Edin the most decorated skip in history after adding the only title that had eluded him in his glittering career.
Bruce Mouat’s Britain saved their best performance of the tournament for the showdown but were outplayed by the near-perfect Swedes, with Edin reading the ice well to maintain the upper hand in the close, tactical battle.
Mouat had the chance to potentially lie two and seal the win but could not dislodge the Swedish stone in the button, handing his opponents victory before Edin could even throw his final stone.
“We’re very disappointed,” Mouat said. “We gave them too much of a head start and we had to battle back. We’ve been preparing for this for about five years and this is the moment we were hoping to have that win.”
There was a silver lining for Britain, however, as their second-placed finish gave the nation its first medal at the Beijing Olympics.
Edin, along with Oskar Eriksson, Rasmus Wranaa and Christoffer Sundgren, had been chasing Olympic gold with Sweden for more than a decade. Every four years, the quartet got one step closer.
They were in fourth place at Vancouver 2010, won bronze in Sochi in 2014 and finished runners-up in Pyeongchang four years ago. Their collection is finally complete.
“God, it’s nice,” said the 36-year-old Edin, who has undergone 10 operations in the past decade after a series of injuries.
“It’s completely unbelievable… It’s obviously been an incredibly long journey with pretty disappointing defeats in a couple of the previous Olympic Games.
“It makes it even sweeter now that we’ve reached the top of the podium. The pressure and the monkey’s off our backs… We knew this was missing from our resumes, more than anyone, and we knew that it’s in our grasp.
“It’s truly amazing to achieve this with a group of great friends and great athletes. It feels like there are very few athletes who are more worthy of this than us.”
Edin has won five world championships, including the last three, and seven European crowns among numerous other accolades, but said it had not fully sunk in that he had, at last, won the Olympic gold.
“I think that I might wake up tomorrow morning wondering if we have one more match to play,” Edin added. “It feels so crazy, I almost had to ask someone before I came here, ‘We have won, right?’
“There’s a lot of emotions out there… We felt that we’re worthy champions but it still felt completely insane and when it actually happens it is hard to understand.
“It can take its time. It will feel as good as it can be for a long time now.”
(Reporting by Hritika Sharma; Editing by Clare Fallon and Andrew Cawthorne)
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