Britain advances to men's curling semifinals with win over Norway

SOCHI, Russia — Britain advanced to the semifinals of the men's Olympic curling tournament by beating Norway 6-5 in a tiebreaker Tuesday that went to the final shot.

British skip David Murdoch made a superb double takeout with the last rock to leave two British stones nearest to the button for the win.

“It is going to rank up there with the best shots I have ever played,” Murdoch said. “To stay in the Olympics or be out of the Olympics in one shot.”

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Britain will now face Sweden in the semifinals on Wednesday, while Canada plays China. Norway and Britain came out of the preliminary schedule with 5-4 records, forcing a tiebreaker.

Britain lost a tiebreaker at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, where Norway won the silver medal and its players earned global recognition for wearing flamboyant pants during games. Their elimination leaves the tournament without its biggest crowd-pleasers, who wore pants with a red-and-blue paint-splattered pattern for the tiebreaker.

Norway skip Thomas Ulsrud said he feared the worst when his final shot left Murdoch with the ideal angle to play the double takeout.

“As soon as our last one was played, I thought, `This is not good,“’ Ulsrud said. “It was there for him.”

It leaves Murdoch with a chance to make up for near misses at the last two Olympic tournaments — he lost the bronze-medal game in 2006 and a tiebreaker for the semifinals in 2010 when Britain was the world champion.

Women's hockey

Finland beat Russia, 4-0, for fifth place and Germany beat Japan, 3-2, for seventh place.

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