Great Britain have won a silver medal in the men’s curling at the Winter Olympics after losing to Sweden in the final.
They had to settle for a silver after Sweden beat them 5-4 in an extra end at the National Aquatics Centre in Beijing.
Despite the loss, they managed to scoop Team GB's first medal at the 2022 Games.
Forced to try an ambitious effort to salvage an improbable win against the hammer, Bruce Mouat’s attempted take-out missed by inches to give Swedish skip Niklas Edin, a former soldier in the Swedish army with five world titles to his name, his first Olympic crown.
Mouat’s men were never in front after losing two in the second end, but nevertheless the 27-year-old and his team of Hammy McMillan, Bobby Lammie, Grant Hardie and alternate Ross Whyte can take solace in becoming Britain’s first medallists of the Games.
An emotional Lammie told BBC Sport: “I don’t know what to say. Personally I wasn’t at my best today. I’m gutted for the boys.
“I think we fought back well in the second half, gave ourselves position and couldn’t quite get over the line. Right now it hurts.”
McMillan added: “We’ve had a good week, it’s not how we wanted to end it but we’ll look back at this and we’ll be proud. Right now it kind of sucks.
“They started strong, they didn’t give us an inch. We weren’t at our best at the start. We fought back hard and had a good second half.”
Rhona Howie, who skipped her rink to Olympic gold in 2002, Howie said although Sweden have dominated world curling for years, "these are the best two teams in the world and we saw that with the standard of play today.”
She told the broadcaster: “They [Great Britain] did nothing wrong out there today. The played so, so well, they fought so hard and just they were up against a machine.”
Asked about the disappointment for the British quartet, Howie said: “They will be devastated today, tomorrow, for the next wee while because they have played so well, and they can hold their heads high. They played a great final out there.
“But in the long term for their career… their first Olympics, all four of them and they’ve come away with a silver medal.”
Mouat had fashioned a 7-6 win in the group stage that effectively sealed their place at the top of the standings – and would crucially give them the hammer in the first end of the final.
But Sweden took the initiative when Edin took two in the second end, and under Edin’s expert stewardship, it was one they would never quite relinquish.
The Swedes extended their advantage by stealing one in the third despite a brilliant double take-out by Mouat that have given him a glimmer of a greater reward.
Mouat pulled one back in the fourth for 3-2 and after Edin intentionally blanked the sixth and seventh ends to retain the last stone advantage, he made a rare error in the eighth to hand GB a steal and allow them to tie up the score at 3-3.
More clever tactics by Mouat in the eighth forced Edin to settle for one, and a pair of superb double take-outs in the ninth – first by Lammie, then Hardie, set up an intentional blank to allow GB to retain the hammer for the final end.
However, forced to take one in the 10th after some more expert work from Edin, they gave the advantage back to the Swedes for the extra end, and they forced Mouat into attempting an improbable effort which came up short.