Scotland miss out as China celebrate comeback at Curling World Cup
Ross Paterson and his Scottish rink suffered heartbreak after missing out on the Curling World Cup final by the narrowest of margins in Beijing.
The team, also featuring Kyle Waddell, Duncan Menzies and Michael Goodfellow, knew victory in their final group game against Canada 2 would be enough to reach the grand final in China.
But a blanked eighth and final end saw them lose 7-6 to Kevin Koe's Canada rink, who in turn took their place in the final – despite being locked on 12 points in Group B alongside their Scottish counterparts.
Defeat was just a second for Scotland in the competition but with only the pool winners progressing, Canada 2 will go on to face China for overall World Cup victory.
The host nation made the gold-medal match in dramatic circumstances, snatching victory from the jaws of elimination by stealing a single in the last end of their match with Canada 1.
That wasn't enough for Team Zou Qiang's progress on its own but with Sweden losing 6-4 to the United States, the home crowd were whipped into a frenzy after also beating the Olympic champions earlier in the day.
"We always had hope," said China's national coach Mike Harris. "After we got off to a good start beating Sweden we kept calm and did a really job to stay within themselves. They have done a really great job.
"I didn't say anything to the team about scenarios until the sixth end. Once Canada blanked the seventh end, we knew we had to steal. I'm just really proud how they handled themselves and made the shots.
"If you had told them two weeks ago they would be in the final, they would need convincing. The crowd were fantastic at the end."
Meanwhile Canada will have representation in each of the men's, women's and mixed double competitions, despite Team Jennifer Jones losing out in their last round-robin match.
Canada had stormed into a 4-0 lead after two ends but an excellent fightback from the United States saw Nina Roth's rink take singles in the sixth, seventh and eighth ends to bag a 6-5 win.
But while Japan downed China 7-2 to join the table-toppers on ten points, it's Canada who will play Switzerland in the women's final.
Silvana Tirinzoni's rink will also enter the game on the back of a defeat, however, losing out 7-6 to Korea in their final round-robin match.
The mixed final will see Canada 1 and Norway face off in a battle between two teams with just defeat apiece so far, both looking imperious in the group stages as they seek the Curling World Cup title.