Eve Muirhead's Britain won the Olympic gold at the skip's fourth Winter Olympics ©Getty Images

Eve Muirhead's Britain became Olympic champions in women's curling here on the final day of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, following in the footsteps of Rhona Martin's heroics 20 years ago.

At her fourth Games, Muirhead, joined on the British team by Vicky Wright, Jenn Dodds, Hailey Duff and alternate Milli Smith, realised her dream by beating Satsuki Fujisawa's Japan 10-3.

Japan's rink also consisted of Chinami Yoshida, Yumi Suzuki, Yurika Yoshida and alternate Kotomi Ishizaki.

It was a rematch of the Pyeongchang 2018 bronze medal match, which Japan won.

Shortly after, Muirhead took time off from the sport for a hip surgery, which she had played through to make it to the Games.

The Scottish team, representing Britain at the Games, started well by scoring two in the opening end of the final, pegged back to 2-1 when Japan took advantage of the hammer.

Momentum went the way of Muirhead when she scored in the fourth and stole another in the fifth.

Fujisawa came close to scoring two in the sixth, but had to settle for one.

An  incredible raised take-out for Britain provisionally sealed the gold medal with Muirhead's last stone scoring four.

Japan's attempts afterwards were futile, merely prolonging the inevitable with one point in the eighth.

Britain rolled in for two, ending the match 10-3 after nine ends.

It was Britain's first gold medal of these Winter Olympics.

It was the fifth gold medal in the last six Winter Games, including one in every edition since Vancouver 2010. 

Japan and Britain made it through to the semi-finals by centimetres due to the draw shot challenge ©Getty Images
Japan and Britain made it through to the semi-finals by centimetres due to the draw shot challenge ©Getty Images

Both teams made the semi-finals by the skin of their teeth, needing various results to go their way to have a chance at the medals.

Muirhead's rink defeated Alina Kovaleva's Russian Olympic Committee and had to rely on Silvana Tirinzoni's Switzerland to defeat Japan to force a tiebreaker situation.

Other results went the way of the British team too as Anna Hasselborg's Sweden defeated South Korea, skipped by Kim Eun-jung.

With Jennifer Jones' Canada also winning against Madeleine Dupont's Denmark, it forced a tiebreaker scenario, but was then took to the draw shot challenge as Britain, Japan and Canada had all won one match and lost one against each other.

The draw shot challenge determines winners based on who can throw a stone closest to the centre - which guaranteed third place for Muirhead's side, who drew a shot 35.27 centimetres from the centre, just 0.73cm in front of Japan, who finished fourth.

Canada's mark of 45.44cm was not enough to progress.

Fujisawa's team faced Switzerland in a rematch following their round-robin defeat, but were able to overcome the top seeds, helped by a score of four in the fifth round, winning 8-6.

Joining them in the final was Britain, who prevailed from a battle against Hasselborg's Sweden, pitting two of the best skips in recent memory against each other.

In a high-scoring affair between the teams, Britain won the extra-end and the score finished 12-11.

Eve Muirhead was in tears on the podium after Britain's win over Japan ©Getty Images
Eve Muirhead was in tears on the podium after Britain's win over Japan ©Getty Images

This was Muirhead's fourth Winter Olympics representing Britain and her second medal after taking bronze at Sochi 2014.

The 31-year-old said it was surreal to replicate Martin's (now known as Rhona Howie) famous victory at Salt Lake City 2002.

"It feels bizarre, to be honest," said Muirhead. 

"To think it was 20 years ago when Rhona Martin made history in Great Britain by winning that gold medal. 

"We've followed in her footsteps and done it 20 years later. 

"We saved our best game till last. 

"It's been a long time coming and I think for us as a team we've worked so hard to get here. 

"I'm just so proud of them all."

Muirhead won a gold at the 2013 World Championships, one of three medals she has won in the event, and is also a three-time European champion.

Defending champions Sweden completed the podium after Hasselborg's rink defeated Tirinzoni's Switzerland 9-7 in the bronze medal match.

It continued Sweden's run to five Games in-a-row of making the podium in women's curling.