Sweden advanced to the semi-finals with a win over the host nation ©WCF

Sweden defeated hosts Switzerland to reach the semi-finals of the World Mixed Curling Championships in Bern, joining China, Russia and Norway in the last four of the inaugural tournament.

The Swiss team of Romano Meier, Briar Huerlimann, Yannick Schwaller and Celine Koller had been forced to come through a tough qualification match against Scotland earlier in the day as they came from 4-3 down, with two ends remaining, to claim a 6-4 win.

However, they would be on the other end of a late fightback in the quarter-final tie as Sweden, who cruised to the top of the Group A leaderboard after round robin play, picked up two shots with the last stone of the final end to secure a 5-4 win.

“There was nothing to lose with that last stone,” said Rasmus Wranaa, the Swedish skip.

“Switzerland were a really tough team to meet in the quarter-finals, so we tried to make the game go long to get the win.”

For Sweden to reach the final they will have to inflict a first defeat of the competition on Russia, whose pursuit of gold shows no signs of slowing after they swept to an 8-3 win over Canada in their semi-final encounter.

One of the big surprises of the semi-final stage of the competition was a defeat for the Group D winners the United States in their tie with Norway.

Russia remain unbeaten and look the favourites to secure gold in Bern
Russia remain unbeaten and look the favourites to secure gold in Bern ©WCF

The Norwegian quartet had cruised to a 10-5 triumph over Denmark in their quarter-final qualifier earlier in the day and they continued that momentum by moving into a 5-4 lead over the Americans with six of the eight ends played.

Despite the US levelling the match in the penultimate end, Norway’s team of Steffen Walstad, Julie Molnar, Sander Roelvaag and Pia Trulsen claimed another two points to seal a 7-5 win.

Norway now face the challenge of China after they dominated Germany in the last semi-final, as they prevented their opponents from scoring in four consecutive ends to boast an 8-3 lead, which forced the German team to concede defeat.

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