Great Britain’s men’s curling team took silver at the Winter Olympics after losing their final to Sweden 5-4 on Saturday.
The match went to an extra end after it was locked 4-4 and with the hammer, Sweden edged out Team GB to take gold. But the silver was Team GB’s first medal of Beijing 2022, and prevented the country’s first medal-less Games since 1992.
Bruce Mouat skippered the Britain team of Grant Hardie, Bobby Lammie, Hammy McMillan and reserve Ross Whyte as they won Britain’s first curling medal since the team came back from Sochi 2014 with a silver and bronze in the men’s and women’s team events respectively.
“Just gutted for the boys, I think we fought back well and the second half gave us position and we couldn’t quite get over the line,” Lammie said. “It hurts.”
“We’ve had a good week, it’s not how we wanted to end it,” McMillan said. “We’ll look back and be proud and right now it sucks. They didn’t give us an inch.”
But the 20-year wait for a gold goes on at least another 24 hours with Eve Muirhead’s women’s team facing Japan in their final on Sunday.
The two men’s teams met in the round robin stage, a match Great Britain won 7-6, and Mouat’s rink got off to a good start with a lead of one in the first end with the hammer, only for Sweden to take two in the next. Sweden then upped the ante and stole one in the third to lead 3-1 with Britain chipping back with one in the next end, but it was Niklas Edin’s rink in the ascendancy as they led 3-2 heading into the break.
After two blank ends in the fifth and sixth, Britain took one in the seventh and Sweden one in the eighth and after a blank end, it was 4-3 to Sweden heading into the 10th end. Britain had the hammer in the final end and scored one to push it into the extra end. And Sweden managed to get the gold-medal winning score there to break British hearts.
Mouat’s team had won eight of their nine round robin games – only falling to the U.S. – and then beat Team USA in the semifinals 8-4 on Thursday. That guaranteed Britain at least a silver, and therefore Team GB’s first medal of Beijing 2022 and was then followed up by Muirhead’s women’s team winning their semifinal against Sweden on Friday.