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Britain, Switzerland reach women's curling semis

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 17, 2014 at 1:46 pm •  Published: February 17, 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — First, the good news for Britain's women curlers — they are through to the semifinals of the Olympic Games.

The bad news? Undefeated Canada lies in wait.

It was a bittersweet night for the British at the Ice Cube Curling Center on Monday, as the round-robin stage reached its climax with Eve Muirhead's team joining Switzerland in completing a powerful-looking lineup for the playoffs.

Sweden and Canada already had qualified on Sunday, meaning the top four teams in the world rankings will be vying for gold.

Yet while Canada has breezed through qualifying, winning all nine games to set a women's Olympic record, Britain has ended up squeezing through the back door.

Its 8-7 loss to Denmark in an extra end bumped Muirhead's team down to fourth place and into a semifinal against the most dominant rink in the tournament.

"In an ideal world, you'd maybe pick and choose who you play," said Britain coach Rhona Howie. "But we've got to beat them (Canada and Sweden) to get that gold medal."

Switzerland will play Sweden in the other semi after beating China 10-6 to finish at 5-4 with Britain. Because the Swiss won their meeting in the round-robin, they take third place and a supposedly easier game in the last four.

The only previous Olympic team to go through the qualifying phase with a perfect record is the Canadian men's rink skipped by Kevin Martin in the Vancouver Games in 2010.

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