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Sweden edges China to advance to gold medal game at Capital One World Women’s

Sweden, skipped by Anette Norberg, clipped China’s Bingyu Wang, 7-6 Friday evening in the Page 1-2 game at the Capital One World Women’s Curling Championship in Esbjerg, Denmark to advance to the gold medal game on Sunday.

Norberg, a two-time Olympic and world champion, had finished the round robin in first place with a 9-2 record, including a 7-5 decision over China, which wound up in second spot with an 8-3 mark.

In Friday’s showdown, the teams were tied at two after five ends, having traded singles, with the second end blanked.

In the sixth end, though, China was able to steal a deuce to take a 4-2 lead, when Norberg’s last rock was removed for a hogline violation. But Norberg responded with three in the seventh and a steal in the eighth to seize control, 6-4.

However, Wang countered with a deuce in the ninth to again tie the match at six, before Norberg was able to tally a winning single in the 10th end with a draw to the eight-foot and earn a berth in the final on Sunday (9:00 am ET, live on TSN).

“The girls (third Cissi Östlund, second Sara Carlsson and lead Lotta Lennartsson) were just amazing today,” said Norberg. “I struggled a bit in the beginning, but they played really great today. Now we’re in the final, we’re going for the gold.

“We made some good draws in the seventh and they missed and we had a three and that got us back into the game again. We felt in control after that, but the teams were still very even.”

About the sixth end, Norberg said simply, “I forgot to turn the stone around, because we changed the way we were going to play.”

Sweden held a slight advantage in team shooting percentage, 84%-79%, while Norberg also registered an 82%-76% edge over Wang.

Wang said, “It was a tough game. We lost one end and that was key to losing the game. We were not concentrating and we made a lot of mistakes in the seventh end. So now we face the semi final and I hope we can play better and play smart. This experience will make us grow.”

China now goes to Saturday’s semi-final (live on TSN at 10:00 am) to await the winner of the Page 3-4 game, which features host Denmark (Lene Nielsen) against Canada (Amber Holland) at 5:00 am ET, also live on TSN.

Holland qualified for the Page 3-4 game by eliminating Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott, 8-6 in a tiebreaker for fourth place earlier today.