April 7 - Sweden has become the first team to hold both the world and European titles in the same season after they beat hosts Canada by 8-6 in the gold medal final of the Ford World Men's Curling Championship.
Playing in front of a full house of 5,500 at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, the Swedish team of skip Niklas Edin, third Sebastian Kraupp, second Fredrik Lindberg, lead Viktor Kjaell and fifth Oskar Eriksson opened with a score of two in the first end when Edin delivered a nose-hit on a Canadian stone, before Canada responded with a single point in the second end when skip Brad Jacobs hit with his last stone.
In the third end, Edin played a perfect tap-up to score two points and take a 4-1 lead, but the Canadian team, which also included third Ryan Fry, second EJ Harnden, lead Ryan Harnden, and fifth Matt Dumontelle, brought themselves right back into the game in the fourth end when Jacobs tapped-out a Swedish stone to score two points and close the Swedish lead to just 4-3.
The game's turning point came in the sixth end, when Jacobs failed in an attempt to remove two Swedish stones, and, with the stone of theirs that remained in the house, the Swedes stole one point for a 6-3 lead.
In the eighth end, the Swedes closed in on the crown as Edin drew his final stone into the house to score two points for an 8-4 lead and although Canada scored two more points in the ninth end to close the gap to 8-6, Sweden eventually ran the home team out of stones in the tenth end to claim the world title.
"We had a really good game here," said Edin, who was also chosen by all the other players as the winner of the World Curling Federation (WCF) Collie Campbell Memorial Award for sportsmanship.
"I'm so proud of my team, we executed the plan perfectly, so I'm just super-happy.
"It feels amazing to be European and world champions at the same time.
"We set that up as a target three years ago, and to have done it feels amazing going into the Olympic season."
Silver medallist Jacobs put a brave face and claimed the gold medal is not out of the grasp of the Canadian team in future World Championships.
"We were just on the wrong side of the inch today and in curling that happens," he said.
"We fought as hard as we could and we tried to stick with it as long as we could.
"Full credit to Sweden, they were bang-on today.
"You know what?
"We're going to hold our heads high.
"We fought as hard as we could.
"Silver-medallists at the worlds?
"We're pretty young and this is a first-year team.
"Cross our fingers, maybe one day we'll get a second chance at this."
Earlier, Scotland beat Denmark by 7-6 to take the bronze.
Scottish skip David Murdoch said although he was disappointed not to have made the final, his team were glad to be going home with a medal from the last World Championships before the next Winter Olympics in Sochi.
"This is the World Championships before the Olympics and you tend to find that the best teams are here and they're starting to get to the top of their game," said the two-time Olympian.
"The fact that we can top the round-robin and shoot some really good numbers shows that we're doing a lot of things right.
"For us we're going to take a lot of encouragement that we're doing the right things and we know that when we bring our 'A' game we can beat anyone.
"We just need to be a bit more consistent."
These games also finalised the Olympic qualification position, with Canada, Sweden, Scotland – whose points are allocated to Britain for Olympic purposes, Norway, Denmark, China and Switzerland all confirmed to send men's teams to Sochi 2014.
Russia will be there as hosts and other qualification was based on points gathered in the 2012 and 2013 World Men's Curling Championships.
The United States, New Zealand, Czech Republic, France, Japan, Germany, Finland and Korea are now eligible to send men's teams to take part in the inaugural WCF Olympic Qualification event in Füssen, Germany on December 11 until 15 to compete for the two remaining spots at the Olympics.
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