Olimpiadi invernali 2022: Niklas Edin skips Sweden to curling gold, Britain 2nd

E adesso, infine, Niklas Edin of Sweden has claimed the only major title missing from a career in which he’s established himself as the most decorated skip in curling history.

Four years after losing in the final at the Pyeongchang Games to American upstart John Shuster, Edin led Sweden to the gold medal on Saturday, beating Britain 5-4 in the first extra-end men’s final in Olympic history.

With the medal podium already set up, and Canada standing by to collect the bronze it won Friday by ending the Americans’ repeat hopes, Edin took advantage of the last-rock advantage in the first tiebreaker end and put his penultimate stone into the center of the target area.

AGGIORNAMENTI IN DIRETTA: OLIMPIADI DI PECHINO

Sweden's Rasmus Wranaa, left and Sweden's Niklas Edin encourage each other during the men's curling final match between Britain and Sweden at the Beijing Winter Olympics Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, a Pechino.

Sweden’s Rasmus Wranaa, left and Sweden’s Niklas Edin encourage each other during the men’s curling final match between Britain and Sweden at the Beijing Winter Olympics Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, a Pechino. (AP Photo / Brynn Anderson)

When British skip Bruce Mouat failed to knock it out on a ricochet, the Swedes had clinched it. They paused — it’s not polite to celebrate an opponent’s miss — and then let out a yell.

Their alternate and coaching staff hurried down to the ice to join the celebration.

In four trips to the Olympics, Edin has finished — in order: il quarto, terzo, second and first. Joining him this time are Oskar Eriksson, Rasmus Wranå and Christoffer Sundgren.

Eriksson, who won the bronze in mixed doubles, is the first person ever to win two curling medals at one Olympics. He also beat Mouat in the mixed doubles third-place game.

The British took silver — their first medal of the Beijing Games, but not the gold that would have been the first for the sport’s homeland since curling returned to the Olympic program in 2002. They will have another chance against Japan on Sunday in the women’s final.

Sweden opened a 3-1 lead with two points in the second end and a steal of one in the third. Still up 3-2, Edin blanked the fifth and the sixth — intentionally taking zero points to retain the last-rock advantage.

The British stole one in the seventh to tie it 3-3, then Sweden scored one in the eighth. Britain threw its last stone through an empty house in the ninth to have the last rock, known as the hammer, in the 10th.

Sweden cleared out the yellow British stones in the final end of regulation, and Mouat delivered a draw to the button to send the match into extra ends. But the Swedes had the hammer in the 11th, and Edin converted.

The Swedish women were to play Switzerland in the women’s bronze medal match later Saturday.

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