Pyeongchang 2018

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Korea’s ‘Garlic Girls’ win thriller to reach curling final

South Korea’s women have completed their remarkable run to the gold medal game of the Olympic curling tournament.

In a dramatic semi-final, Kim Eun-jung’s team needed an extra end to beat Japan 8-7.

Only Sweden stand between the hosts and a surprise gold, after the Swedes beat Great Britain 10-5.

High drama in Gangneung

Ranked eight in the world before PyeongChang 2018, Korea topped the round robin with an 8-1 record.

Nicknamed ‘The Garlic Girls’ after the main crop of their hometown Uiseong, they have become national heroes.

The Koreans led 7-6 after nine ends and had the ‘hammer’ (final stone) in the 10th.

Japan skip Satsuki Fujisawa left a guard protecting the game-tying rock but Kim Eun-jung had a chance to win it for the hosts.

She hit Japan’s scoring stone and her team-mates thought they had won.

But it was only a glancing blow and the Korean rock drifted agonisingly on.

Despair for the home crowd as Japan levelled at 7-7.

Korea also had the hammer in the 11th end, and this time Kim made no mistake.

A perfect draw inside the Japanese stone near the middle of the house to secure victory and guarantee an unlikely medal.

Muirhead misery

The seventh end proved decisive in Sweden’s semi-final win over Great Britain.

With the Swedes 5-3 up, a takeout from skip Anna Hasselborg left them with three in the house.

The pressure was on Eve Muirhead, who led Scotland to European Championship glory over Sweden in November.

But the three-time Olympian’s final stone clipped a guard, with Sweden scoring three to go 8-3 ahead and just three ends remaining.

Muirhead somehow found the gap between two Swedish guards in the eighth end to close the gap to 8-5, but her luck ran out in the ninth.

She left her final stone short and Hasselborg scored two to secure a 10-5 victory.

Sweden will be bidding to improve on their silver from Sochi 2014 when they face the home favourites in Sunday’s final.

South Korea won 7-6 when they met in the round robin stages and another nailbiting contest beckons.


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