BEIJING (Reuters) – Switzerland and Sweden secured a place in the women’s curling semi-finals at the Beijing Olympics while Canada and Britain suffered setbacks in their playoff push at the National Aquatics Centre on Wednesday.
World champions Switzerland saw off South Korea’s “Garlic Girls” 8-4 to seal a spot in the last four ahead of their final round-robin game against Japan. The Swiss top the standings with a record of seven wins and one defeat.
Jennifer Jones led Canada to a scrappy 7-6 victory over Tabitha Peterson and the United States for a third straight win, but gave up a steal of two in an extra end and suffered a costly 11-9 loss to hosts China.
Canada are level with Britain in fourth behind third-placed Japan, who beat the United States 10-7.
Reigning champions Sweden qualified for the playoffs with an 8-3 win over the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to move into second place.
Britain’s hopes of making the last four are in danger after their shock 8-4 loss to China, leaving them needing to win their final match against the ROC and hope other results go their way.
In the men’s competition earlier on Wednesday, Canada secured a semi-final spot with one game left to play despite sitting out the session after China beat Switzerland 6-5 and Britain defeated the ROC 8-6.
Italy beat Denmark 10-3 in the other evening tie. Britain and Sweden had already clinched their berths with a record of seven wins and one defeat.
Teams play nine matches in the preliminary round, which concludes on Thursday. The men’s semi-finals will be played later on Thursday while the women’s playoffs take place on Friday.
(Reporting by Hritika Sharma; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Bill Berkrot)