Switzerland takes men's bronzePosted: Friday February 22, 2002 1:47 PM
Updated: Friday February 22, 2002 10:08 PM
OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- Switzerland upset Sweden 7-3 for the men's Olympic curling bronze, with the Swedes conceding Friday after a medal-clinching toss by Swiss captain Andreas Schwaller.
Canada plays Norway for the gold medal later Friday.
Switzerland was the defending champion but lost 7-6 to Norway in the semifinal. "Our goal was to win a medal, which was not easy, but which we did," said Schwaller.
Schwaller's stone in the eighth end collided with a Swedish rock and started a billiards-style combination, knocking the Swedes, the reigning world champions, out of scoring position and eliminating any chance of scoring the two points they were in position to nab.
However, that shot left the center of the house wide open. And since that's where all the points are scored, Swedish captain Peja Lindholm only needed to put his final rock on target.
But Lindholm, one of the world's best curlers, missed. His rock slid past the blue center button and kept going. Instead of pulling Sweden to 6-4, the Swiss led decisively 7-3.
Early in the ninth, Lindholm conceded when he held his rock and slid all the way down the 146-foot ice sheet. Players are supposed to release the stone after a short slide from the starting hack.
"We tried to pressure on every end, but they wouldn't let us do it," said Lindholm. "The difference between disaster and success is very, very small."
Lindholm stood up and congratulated the Swiss players. His Swedish teammates, meanwhile, returned to their end of the sheet in tears.