Men’s curling: Russia clinch dramatic first win, as Great Britain and Sweden keep pace with China

Great Britain and Sweden both moved onto four wins out of five in the men’s curling with victories that help them maintain their challenge to the unbeaten Chinese at the top of the leaderboard.

Great Britain beat USA by 5-3 at the Ice Cube Curling Centre, after building up an early advantage to lead 5-1 at the half way mark.

USA did their best to fight back, picking up points in the seventh and ninth ends, but the British looked assured throughout, in what skip David Murdoch described as “a commanding performance”.

He went on to add: “I think we dominated from start to finish. We were aggressive in the first five ends and got our lead and we were clinical after that.”

Meanwhile, hosts Russia faced European champions Switzerland, with both teams fighting for qualification survival near the bottom of the table.

Switzerland moved into a 3-0 lead after three ends, before Russia levelled at 3-3 after six ends. The Swiss then opened up a 6-4 lead going into the final end, and with stone advantage, looked favourites to win.

However, there was another twist, as Russia stole three points to clinch a dramatic 7-6 win – their first of the tournament – much to the delight of the noisy home crowd.

“There was a lot of emotion out there today,” said a delighted Russia third man, Evgeny Arkhipov.

“It’s a very important win, not only for all of the spectators who have come to watch us here but also for the sport of curling in Russia.”

In an all-Scandinavian encounter between Norway and Sweden, it was world champions Sweden who imposed themselves in the early ends, taking a 3-1 lead following a mistake from Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud in the fourth end.

The Swedes then followed that up with a single-point steal in the fifth end to take a 4-1 halftime lead, before Norway reduced the margin to 4-3 at the end of the seventh. A point apiece in three tight last ends meant that the Swedes notched a 5-4 victory that leaves them tied for second with Great Britai behind China.

“We needed to bounce back from the last game,” reflected Sweden skip Niklas Edin. “That loss could have been an event-changer… We played this one really well and all the players were on a good level.”

Canada faced Denmark with both teams still knocking on the door of qualification places. There was never more than one point between the teams in the first half of the game, with the lead changing hands twice and the teams going into the break tied at 3-3.

Canada made a breakthrough at the start of the sixth end, scoring twice for a 5-3 lead, before