Sweden beat Canada to defend gold

By Jeffrey Jones

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The Swedish women, led by veteran Anette Norberg, blocked out a high-decibel crowd cheering for Canada to knock over the home team in a tense match and defend their Olympic curling gold medal.

Norberg suffered some rare miscues early on but fought back to beat Cheryl Bernard's Canadians 7-6 in the extra end.

With Canada leading going into the 10th end, Bernard failed to nail her last rock, allowing Sweden to score two and tie it up at 6-6. The Canadian skip then miscalculated her final throw of the subsequent end, giving Norberg's squad the win.

The Canadians won all but one of their qualification games on the strength of Bernard's accuracy with the last rock of the game. She also had the backing of an uncharacteristically noisy curling crowd.

But the Swedes gathered steam throughout the tournament, winning their last three games. Norberg, 43, has said she was unaffected by the crowd because she was in her 'own bubble' when playing well.

Earlier, China beat Switzerland to take the bronze.

(Editing by Miles Evans)