BEIJING (Reuters) -Bruce Mouat’s Britain spoiled already-qualified Sweden’s perfect record on Tuesday to seal their place in the men’s curling semi-finals while Canada’s loss to ROC left them needing a victory in their final round-robin game to make the playoffs.
Britain, who beat Niklas Edin’s Sweden in December to take the European crown, scored a statement 7-6 win over the triple world champions at the National Aquatics Centre to move into second place in the standings.
“It’s huge to secure the play-off spot – and playing Niklas too,” Britain’s third player Grant Hardie said.
“It’s always a game we look forward to and it was really tough. But we were able to put in probably one of our best performances so far.”
Canada, in fourth, will aim to qualify for the last four by beating Britain in their last round-robin contest on Wednesday after going down to an extra-end 7-6 defeat by the Russian Olympic Committee.
“It’s a disappointing game. We gave up so many opportunities,” Canada skip Brad Gushue said.
“We will rest up, cheer for whoever we need to cheer for to see if things can go our way. But our fate is still in our own hands.”
Reigning champions the United States also suffered a setback in their hopes of making the top four, losing 10-4 to Italy, who had already been eliminated. Hosts China beat Norway 8-6 in the other evening tie.
In the women’s competition, world champions Switzerland survived a scare to register a narrow 9-6 win against the United States, scoring a crucial four points in the ninth end before adding another in the 10th to seal the result.
Reigning champions Sweden delivered a strong performance against Denmark to win 9-3 and Britain claimed a much-needed 10-4 win over Japan to boost their playoff chances, while the ROC beat China 11-5 for their first victory in Beijing.
Teams play nine matches in the preliminary round, with the top four reaching the semifinals.
(Reporting by Hritika Sharma;Editing by Robert Birsel and Kevin Liffey)