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U.S. Men Have Shot at Curling Medal

Associated Press
Friday, February 13, 1998; 8:21 a.m. EST

KARUIZAWA, Japan (AP) — The U.S. men's Olympic curling team hopes it's two down and at least two to go.

The Americans (4-4) won twice today, beating Britain 6-3 in the final game of round-robin play and Sweden 5-2 in a tiebreaker to force another tiebreaking game Saturday with Japan (3-4).

The winner of that game faces Canada (6-1), winner of four of the last five world championships, in the semifinals. The other semifinal matches Norway (5-2) against Switzerland (5-2).

To win a medal, the Americans must win the tiebreaker and then either upset Canada to reach the finals, or win the bronze medal match against the other semifinal loser.

The key point in the tiebreaker against Sweden came in the fourth end, when the Americans' final shot knocked out two Swedish rocks.

In other matches, Japan beat Germany (1-6) 7-5, Switzerland topped Sweden 8-2 and Norway beat previously unbeaten Canada (6-1) 10-8 in what essentially was a meaningless game.

In women's play, Denmark (5-2) is one victory away from its first Winter Olympics medal in any sport, while the United States women are out after finishing 2-5.

The Americans beat Japan 10-2 today in their final match. They tied Japan and Norway for fifth place, only one ahead of last-place Germany (1-6).

The Danes will play Sweden (6-1) in one semifinal Saturday, with defending world champion Canada (6-1) playing Britain (4-3) in the other.

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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