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Tuesday, February 19, 2002
Updated: February 24, 11:51 PM ET
 
Britain makes semifinals, to face Canada

Associated Press


OGDEN, Utah -- Britain's women curlers advanced to the semifinals of the Olympic tournament by winning two matches Tuesday -- defeating Sweden 6-4 and Germany 9-5.

Britain Womens Curling
Skip Rhona Martin, right, confers with British teammate Debbie Knox during the crucial 9-5 victory over Germany.

Britain earned the chance to meet defending Olympic gold medalist Canada in one semifinal. The United States takes on Switzerland in the other semifinal.

In the morning match, British skip Rhona Martin, helped by teammates Janice Rankin and Fiona MacDonald, kept the pressure on Sweden throughout the contest. Sweden gained a 1-0 lead after the second end -- or inning -- but Britain came back to score four between the third and fifth and put the game away.

"We were in control of the game and we kept in control," Martin said.

Against Germany, Britain was down 3-1 then jumped to a 6-3 lead with five points over three ends.

Although Germany closed to 6-5, Britain put the game out of reach with three in the ninth and Germany conceded in the 10th.

Britain, Germany and Sweden finished in a three-way tie for the fourth and final qualifying spot.

The Canadians finished in first place of the round-robin tournament with an 8-1 record. Switzerland and the United States finished second and third.

The American men were ninth of 10 teams. Canada, Norway, Switzerland and Sweden gained the men's semifinal berths.

The medal matches for the women will be Thursday, with the men Friday.