Canada enters men's curling final at Vancouver Winter Games

12:26, February 26, 2010      

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Favourite Canada sailed into the final in Vancouver on Thursday by extending its perfect record to 10-0 with a 6-3 romp against Sweden in the men's curling tournament of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

The Canadian men, led by skip Kevin Martin, finished the semifinal after nine ends.

Dubbed "Michael Jordan of curling", Martin is going for his first Olympic gold medal, having won the silver in the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.

Martin and his team - lead Ben Hebert, third John Morris, and second Marc Kennedy - dominated the first six ends, taking six points against one. After adding two more points in the eighth and ninth ends, their Swedish peers had to give up the match with one more end to go.

"They had us on the ropes in three. Once we got the first steal of two, that changed the game," Martin said.

Norway, champion eight years ago in Salt Lake City, re-entered the final by ousting Switzerland 7-5.

The men's bronze medal game was to be played between Sweden and Switzerland. The medal games will be held on Saturday.

On the women's field of the day, top seed Canada clinched the final berth against defending champion Sweden after edging Switzerland 6-5 while Sweden overwhelmed world champion China 9-4 in the other semifinal. China and Switzerland will vie for the bronze medal.

The women's medal games are going to be held on Friday.

Speaking on Friday's gold medal game against Sweden, Canadian skip Cheryl Bernard said: "We're underdogs going in and that's understandable. That's OK. That'll be fine."

Canada, home to 1.2 million of the world's 1.5 million curlers, has been dominating the Olympic competition with two medals of every color since curling re-entered the Olympics in 1998 as an official sport. As host team, they are not expected to be satisfied with anything else but gold in the Olympic curling competition.

Canada has won three medals in the men's curling: two silver medals in 1998 in Nagano and in 2002 in Salt Lake City before Brad Gushue spearheaded the team to take home the gold from the 2006 Games in Turin.

Source: Xinhua
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