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Britain, Japan Women Curlers to Meet in Olympic Gold Medal Final


Team Britain celebrates after winning the women's curling semifinal match between Britain and Sweden at the Beijing Winter Olympics, in Beijing, Feb. 18, 2022.

Britain's women's curling team edged defending 2018 Olympic champions Sweden 12-11 in a tense showdown Friday to join the British men's team in advancing to the Olympic curling gold-medal contest against surprise finalists Japan at the Beijing Winter Games on Friday.

The British women won their match one day after British men clinched their berth in the finals. If the men win, it would be Britain's first men's curling medal since 1924; the women won gold in 2002 in Salt Lake City, when the sport returned to the Winter Games after a 78-year absence.

The Japanese women upset Switzerland at the National Aquatics Centre to reach their first Olympic final in the sport.

The British men will face Sweden for the gold. Canada's men's curling team beat the U.S. curlers for the bronze medal Friday.

Meanwhile, in the pairs figure skating competition Friday, China's Sui Wenjing and Han Cong shattered their own world record for a short program at the Beijing Games, giving them a narrow lead over Russian rivals Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov heading into the free skate to decide the Olympic champion pair.

Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China compete in the pairs short program during the figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, in Beijing, Feb. 18, 2022.
Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China compete in the pairs short program during the figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, in Beijing, Feb. 18, 2022.

Sui and Han, who won the short program at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games before settling for the silver medal, were awarded 84.41 points for their orchestral suite from the film "Mission: Impossible 2." That topped the record of 82.83 points that they set during the short program of the team competition earlier this month.

Tarasova and Morozov's score would have broken the record as well but finished 16-hundredths of a point behind. World champions Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov were next with 82.76 points, and Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii had 78.59, giving the Russian Olympic Committee three of the top four heading into Saturday night's free skate final.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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