BEIJING (Reuters) -Veteran Norway vice-skip Torger Nergaard, gold medallist from the Salt Lake City Games in 2002, saw his quartet get trounced by Britain but broke the record for most top-flight curling appearances on Friday.
The 47-year-old, who also won silver in 2010, played his 421st game in an 8-3 loss to Britain at the National Aquatics Centre – one more appearance than Hugh Millikin of Australia.
“If I ever quit, maybe I will look back and be proud,” said Nergaard, who also played with current Norway lead Magnus Vaagberg’s father Lars at the 2002 and 2006 Winter Games.
“Magnus was around back then as well,” he added. “I remember him as a little kid and now he’s much bigger and stronger than me. And I still have fun talking to his father. It’s good, it’s like a big family.”
Switzerland wrapped up a 5-3 win in a low-scoring attritional contest to hand Canada their first defeat while the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) needed only six ends to thump Denmark 10-2 after a whopping six-point steal in the fifth end.
“Sometimes it happens. We have no tactic for six. It’s impossible,” ROC skip Sergei Glukhov said. “To steal six something special has to happen… We were just lucky.”
Earlier on Friday, world champions Sweden eased to a 9-3 win over Italy and lead the round-robin standings, having won all three of their games so far. The Italians conceded with two ends remaining after Swedish skip Niklas Edin made an open draw for three.
“We felt no pressure in that moment,” Edin said. “I feel so far that it’s been a pretty much perfect start.”
In the women’s competition, South Korea’s “Garlic Girls” bounced back from their opening night loss against Canada to topple European champions Britain 9-7 after the British quartet conceded four in the penultimate end when leading by one.
Canada skip Jennifer Jones suffered her first career loss at the Games as they fell 8-5 to Japan. Jones, 47, went through the 2014 Olympic campaign in Sochi to win gold and led her team to a 12-7 victory over South Korea in their opening game in Beijing.
Tabitha Peterson’s U.S. rink followed up dominant wins against the ROC and Denmark with an 8-4 triumph over hosts China, while Switzerland edged the Russians 8-7 to keep their perfect record intact.
Teams play nine matches in the round-robin stage, with the top four advancing to the semi-finals next week.
(Reporting by Hritika Sharma; editing by Ken Ferris and Andrew Cawthorne)