“With every stone that gets played, the options for Great Britain start to fade,” says Steve Cram on the BBC, with just four of the team’s eight stones remaining and Team GB’s chance of scoring two dwindling with each slide past the hog line …
Men’s curling – 9th end
Great Britain 3-4 Sweden
Team GB went into the penultimate end ideally needing to score at least two, or try to force a blank in order to keep the hammer in the final end. A brilliant shot from Grant Hardie with his second and Team GB’s third last stone allows Bruce Mouat to blank the end to leave the Brits a point down but – crucially – with the hammer in the final end. They’ll be happy with that. They need two to win and one to take the final to an extra end, in which case Sweden would have the hammer.
Men’s curling – 8th end
Great Britain 3-4 Sweden
Niklas Edindeliberately tries to blank the eighth end to retain the hammer as the match reaches its knockings but his first stone is misjudged. He’s forced to take his one to restore Sweden’s lead but Great Britain have the hammer with two ends to go.
“The British team are definitely growing in strength and their stone placement is really key,” says Jackie Lockhart on BBC. “I am very shocked at Niklas Edin not trying to go for his two and then forcing Great Britain to the one in the ninth before they go into the tenth. That was a real strange tactic for me.” The upshot? Both teams will think they can win this gold medal match from here.
Men’s curling – 7th end
Great Britain 3-3 Sweden
A long, long end regularly punctuated by long and animated conversations and consultations between the players of both teams. Sweden get themselves in a little bit of bother with a minor error and Grant Hardie capitalises with a wonderful shot to the button. With Sweden’s final two stones, Niklas Edin is unable to dislodge it. Britain take the point and are level with Sweden, who have the hammer in the eighth end. Sweden still have the advantage but Team GB have given themselves a fighting chance.
Men’s curling – 6th end
Great Britain 2-3 Sweden
Sweden blank the sixth end to frustrate Great Britain, retain the hammer and stay in control of this gold medal match. Meanwhile in Stranraer, the family and friends of several Team GB members have convened to watch this final. Katie Lammy, mother of Bobby, is interviewed by the BBC and reveals she is a bag of nerves.
Men’s bobsleigh: Brad Hall has steered his four-man Great Britain bobsleigh team within 0.31 seconds of an Olympic medal after the first two runs of the competition at Yanqing Sliding Centre, according to PA Sport.
Hall, Greg Cackett, Nick Gleeson and Taylor Lawrence sit in sixth position at the halfway stage, with two German crews and Canada’s Justin Kripps making up the medal positions ahead of the event’s conclusion tomorrow.
It marks an impressive response from Hall, a three-time four-man World Cup medallist this season, after overturning his sled in the two-man competition last Tuesday.
“We’re feeling pretty good,” he said. “There were a couple of mistakes on the first run but it wasn’t a bad performance. I’m quite content with sixth place. The Germans have got three sleds, three times the amount of runs to test everything and find the best way down the track, and make sure the equipment works. We’re against it, we’ve got less resources to pull upon, so we’ve just gone with what we know and we’ll see how it turns out.”
Men’s curling final: The story at the halfway stage – if you’re just joining us, Great Britain trail 3-2 at the halfway stage against Sweden at the National Aquatics Centre in Beijing.
Swedish skip Niklas Edin has the upper-hand after taking two in the second end then stealing one in the third in a controlled and tensely-fought affair. Edin chose to intentionally blank the fifth end in order to retain the ‘hammer’ advantage heading into the second part of the contest.
Men’s curling – 5th End
Great Britain 2 – 3 Sweden
The excitement of the men’s curling final has proved too much for my coplleague Jonathan, who has gone for a lie-down after a long shift at the Beijing ice-face, so it falls to me to see out the rest of the game.
Sweden’s Niklas Edin and his fellow curlers are playing some sublime stuff with everything going their way, and are in control of this final at the halfway point. Team GB are not playing badly at all and have made few if any mistakes. They could still turn things around but it will be difficult as Sweden have the hammer in the next end.
Men’s Curling – 4th End
Great Britain 2 v Sweden 3
The measuring contraption has been wheeled out and has dished up good news to the Brits! Swedish Skip Niklas Edin is five-time world champion and has won seven European titles. But he’s never won Olympic Gold. He’s reading the ice to perfection here, and is edging ever so closer to the elusive Gold.
Russian Rout in Men’s Cross Country
We’re halfway through the shortened 30km race, and it’s a Russian 1-2-3. Race favourite Alexander Bolshunov narrowly trails countryman Artem Maltsev.
Men’s Curling – 3rd End
Great Britain 1 v Sweden 3
The pesky Swedes steal a point after a Bruce Mouat curl comes within a bee’s appendix of evening things up.
As the Swedes wrest back control in the Curling, the men’s and women’s mass start speed skating (Semi Finals) and Men’s 50km Cross Country are now both underway. We’ll check in with both shortly.
Men’s Curling – 2nd End
Great Britain 1 v Sweden 2
A bullet from GB’s Bruce Mouat wasn’t enough as the Swedes, with the last stone advantage and world’s best player in control, went two up.
Men’s Curling – 1st End
Great Britain 1 v Sweden 0
For the uninitiated, each team has 8 Stones per end, with each chap having two goes each. A rudimentary knowledge of Swedish would come in handy here, as they’re a very vocal outfit. But the Brits are off to a slick start.
Men’s Curling Gold Medal Match
Great Britain v Sweden
We’re just about off at the National Aquatics Centre. The respective quartets are being introduced, and now we’re listening to the obligatory Eminem warm up tune. Apparently he’s a Curling fan.
Why is Norway so dominant at the Winter Olympics?A gentleman called Birk Ruud, a skier and no relation to the former Australian Prime Minister, explains: “We’re a country with a lot of good genes and we work hard.”
Men’s 50km mass start freestyle race postponed and shortened
We were scheduled to kick off now, but the inclement weather has seen the race postponed for an hour and shortened to 30kms.
It takes a healthy set of lungs, a slow resting heart rate, and a unique capacity for pain to compete in this event. Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov has already claimed four medals at these Games – gold in the 15km + 15km skiathlon and men’s relay, silver in the 15km classic and bronze in the team sprint. He’s the favourite for this event, with his stiffest competition expected to come from Norway’s Emil Iversen and Simen Hegstad Krüger.
Great Britain’s take on Sweden for Gold in just over an hour. The Semi Final score belied what was actually a close and gripping contest. Here’s Sean Ingle’s recap.
Wind Wreaks Havoc on Alpine Teams Event
As mentioned, the last Alpine skiing race has been postponed, with gusts at up to about 65 kph making it a no brainer for organisers.
At this stage, it’s unsure when, or even if, the event will be rescheduled.
Earlier, Nico Porteous became New Zealand’s youngest individual Olympic champion, winning the freeski halfpipe in spectacular style.
The 20-year-old eclipsed Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, who won gold a fortnight ago, as New Zealand’s youngest medallist.
Welcome the second last day of the Winter Olympics, brought to you for the next three hours from my ski lodge in Melbourne, Australia. Things are officially tense on the Ukraine border, and the weather is officially wretched in Beijing. So much so that the Alpine Teams Event has been postponed, and perhaps cancelled. There’s actually a dearth of events today, with all the British focus on the Men’s Curling Final. We also have the Men’s 50km lung-buster coming up in an hour’s time, with a little bit of Jamaican bobsledding, Kiwi Snowboarding and speed skating carnage thrown in for good measure.