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Italy's Stefania Constantini and Amos Mosaner celebrate after winning gold in mixed doubles curling, at the Beijing Olympics, on Feb. 8.EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/Reuters

Italy clinched their first Olympic curling medal at the National Aquatics Centre on Tuesday when Stefania Constantini and Amos Mosaner edged Norway’s Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten 8-5 to win the mixed doubles gold.

Having fallen behind 2-0 in the opening end after a rare nervous start, Constantini and Mosaner steadily strengthened their grip and were four points ahead going into the seventh end.

Norway nibbled into their 7-3 lead and clawed back two points to set up a tense showdown before Constantini landed the gold medal-winning stone with the final throw of the match.

“I feel amazing, it’s a dream that came true,” Constantini said. “We managed to get people (back home) more curious about our sport. Lots of Italian fans are following us and are proud of us. We could feel all their support.”

The Italian duo – competing at the Winter Games for the first time – swept all before them to reach the final undefeated, following up nine round-robin wins with an 8-1 hammering of Sweden in the semi-final on Monday.

“I don’t have words,” Mosaner said. “I never expected a gold medal. This is an important moment … and winning gold without losing a game, that is unbelievable.

“I can’t celebrate much because the men’s competition starts soon,” added Mosaner, who will play third for skip Joel Retornaz when Italy take on Britain on Thursday.

“With a gold medal I can feel better, of course, but with my mistakes during the competition, I’ll try to not take them with me.”

Married Norwegians Skaslien and Nedregotten took home silver and improved on their third-placed finish in Pyeongchang, which they were awarded after Russian opponent Alexander Krushelnitsky tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.

“It is a bit disappointing losing the gold medal game but overall we are happy with the silver,” Skaslien said. “Looking back, we had a very bad start last week and we turned that around at the end with the silver today. That’s great for us.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Sweden’s Almida de Val and Oskar Eriksson added a mixed doubles medal to their country’s bulging Olympic curling trophy cabinet after clinching bronze with a 9-3 dismantling of reigning world champions Britain.

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