Norway surprises Canada in curling

Feb. 22, 2002 at 11:28 PM
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OGDEN, Utah, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Norway took advantage of a rare miscue by Canadian skip Kevin Martin Friday and won gold in the second-ever Olympic curling tournament with a come-from-behind, 6-5 victory.

A favorite heading into the tournament and the final match, Canada could have locked up the gold medal with the last stone, but Martin came out wide and heavy on a relatively easy tap.

When Martin's stone nicked a rock of his opponents, Norway won the gold medal and Canada settled for silver for the second time in as many Olympic tournaments.

"I thought we were going to be a lot happier when we came up here," said Martin, whose team has won two of the last four World Championships.

"It's an open wound right now," added teammate Carter Rycroft. "And it's really tough."

Norway settled for the bronze medal in 1998 at Nagano, but claimed the country's Olympic-best 11th gold of these Games by rallying from a 3-0 deficit.

While the Canadians had most of the support at The Ice Sheet, the Norwegian team of skip Paul Trulsen, Lars Vaagberg, Flemming Davanger, Bent Aanund Ramsfjell and Torger Nergaard had a special fan -- King Harald.

"He knew a lot about curling, according to some of the people sitting around him during the game," Ramsfjell said.

Earlier Friday, defending gold medalist Switzerland won bronze with a 7-3 victory over Sweden. The same three countries have swept the medals in each of the first two Olympic tournaments.

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