(Photo: Sara McManus, Sweden Third) Gangneung, Republic of Korea -- Sweden moved into a clear lead at the top of the women's rankings with an 8-7 win over Switzerland in Saturday morning's fifth round-robin session at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
Great Britain beat Denmark by 7-6 in this session, while both of the other games went to extras ends before United States emerged as 7-6 winners over the Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) team, and China beat Japan, also by 7-6. Canada and Korea sat out this session.
The Swiss had the early advantage in their game with Sweden, stealing two points in the third end for a 4-1 lead. But the game changed in the seventh end when Switzerland skip Silvana Tirinzoni was heavy with her final draw to give up a steal of three points to Sweden, who moved into a 6-4 lead.
Sweden had another steal in the eighth end, this time for two points and an 8-4 lead. This was enough to put the game beyond Switzerland and Sweden won by 8-7 to keep their unbeaten record and top the rankings on four wins.
Denmark had a steal of one point in the first end of their game against Great Britain, but Britain responded with a score of two points in the second and the teams went into the break tied at 3-3.
In the sixth end, Britain took the lead with a hit and stay for two points by their skip Eve Muirhead, and another hit by Muirhead in the eighth end produced another two points, for a 7-4 lead. Britain went on to win by 7-6.
The game between the OAR team and United States was tight all the way, with the teams trading single points throughout the second half to push the game to an extra end. United States had last stone advantage in that extra end and their skip Nina Roth drew her last stone into the house for a 7-6 win.
Japan took the early lead in their game against China, scoring two points in the first end and stealing one point in the second end. In the eighth end, with the score at 5-3 to Japan, China's skip Bingyu Wang played a hit and stay for three points to take the lead for the first time in the game, at 6-5.
Japan's skip Satsuki Fujisawa deliberately blanked the ninth end to keep last stone for the tenth. But she could only score one point in the tenth end to level the game and force an extra end. In that end, with last stone advantage, China's Wang played a draw into the house to win by 7-6.
These results mean that Sweden lead the table on four wins, while Great Britain and Japan are tied in second place, on three wins. At the other end of the table, Canada are still winless.
The women's competition resumes this evening at 20:05 Korea Standard Time (KST) with the sixth round-robin session.
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