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WORLD SPORT

Sweden hold Swiss in curling final

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Sweden skip Anette Norberg celebrates winning the Olympic gold

PINEROLO, Italy -- Sweden beat Switzerland 7-6 in extra ends in the Olympic women's curling final, staving off a gallant Swiss fightback from 5-2 down.

Their victory means they are the first to hold the Olympic, world and European titles at the same time.

For the second consecutive Olympics, Switzerland return home with the silver. Earlier, Canada routed Norway 11-5 in eight ends to claim the bronze.

Leading 6-4 heading into the 10th end, Sweden had looked poised for comfortable win until Swiss skip Mirjam Ott scored two with her final rock to force extra ends.

The Swiss kept the pressure on the six-time European champions in the 11th end that came down to a pressure packed final shot.

Sweden's skip Anette Norberg managed to hit a nervy double takeout and stick for one. As Norberg's stone slowed to a stop, the Swedish rink tossed their brooms into the air and embraced each other.

"It's an amazing feeling," said Swedish lead Anna Svared.

"The team really deserved it, we so deserved it because we are mentally so strong and have the best team spirit.

"We were totally prepared for the extra end. We were confident and secure with each other and knew we were going to win."

Sweden drew first blood when Norberg took two in the second end only to watch the Swiss immediately answer back with a pair in the third.

The world champions retook the lead 3-2 with one in the fourth then stole a point in each of the sixth and seventh ends to seize control 5-2.

Just as the Swedes looked set to cruise to an easy win, Switzerland clawed their way back, Ott drawing to the button for two in the eighth trimming the deficit to 5-4.

But Norberg, too could play that game nailing a pinpoint draw the very next end to restore a two point cushion heading into the 10th.

"We could have won the gold, it was so close we could touch it," said Swiss third Binia Beeli. "After we came back, I thought we can win, we will win.

"At the moment it is disappointing but I think tomorrow we will feel better about the silver," she added.

In Friday's men's final Canada play Finland.

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