Mixed fortunes for GB curlers

  • Last Updated: February 12 2014, 19:21 GMT

A review of the action involving British athletes on day five of the Winter Olympics, including mixed news for the curling teams.

  • The British men's curling team beat Switzerland
  • Eve Muirhead: Gamble backfired 
  • Chemmy Alcott was happy with her performance 

Eve Muirhead defended the final-stone gamble which backfired on her and condemned Great Britain's women's curling team to a 9-6 defeat against Canada, insisting she would do the same again.

Britain trailed 8-6 going into the 10th and final end and, with Britain holding one stone, skip Muirhead had the option of rolling the final stone into the house to square the match at 8-8 and take it into an 11th end.

Instead she went for outright victory by bidding to remove three Canadian stones and the high risk strategy did not pay off.

Muirhead insisted afterwards that she had no regrets.

''I would go for it again for sure,'' she said. ''I don't go for shots I don't think are there and I definitely thought it was there.

''The angles were all sitting there nice. The clock was running down a little bit and it was a quick 'look, that's there'.

''It was a high quality game that could have gone either way.

Despite GB losing two of their first three games, Muirhead remains relaxed about the prospect of qualifying from the round-robin stage of the competition by booking a top-four spot from their remaining six matches.

She said: ''We have played the ranked number one and two teams (defending Olympic champions Sweden and Canada) but we have a long way to go.

''Yes, it would have been nice to have one more win at this point, but we are not down and out.''

Britain's men are in a strong position after beating European champions Switzerland 4-2, their third victory in the opening four group matches at the Ice Cube Curling Center.

The total of six points scored equalled the lowest tally in a men's Olympic curling match, a tally set in 1998 when GB defeated Norway 4-2 and equalled when they beat United States by the same scoreline in 2010.

None of the end saw more than a single point being posted. Britain claimed the first two in the third and fourth, making it 3-1 in the sixth and then sealing the triumph in the 10th thanks to skip David Murdoch's final stone delivery.

''Even though it was as tight as it was, that has been our best performance because they are a real good team,''said Murdoch afterwards.

''For us to beat them, the European champions, that is a real good marker for us and we just need to play like that every game. If we do that we're in good shape."

Murdoch explained the benefit of back-to-back victories ahead of their fifth round-robin fixture against the USA on Thursday afternoon.

''It's key for confidence,'' he said. ''You have to be so clinical with every single shot for two and half hours and, when you have that confidence, you believe in yourself and make everything."

  • Dominique Gisin (l) and Tina Maze shared the women's downhill gold after both posted exactly the same time
  • Swiss star Gisin set the early pace
  • But Maze equalled her time to win Slovenia's first-ever Olympic gold
  • Briton Chemmy Alcott finished down the field in 19th but was happy with her performance
  • British skeleton medal hope Lizzy Yarnold was against fastest in training
  • A gamble on the final shot failed to pay off as Eve Muirhead's GB curling team lost to Canada
  • Eric Frenzel jumps for joy after winning Nordic combined gold
  • Speed skater Stefan Groothuis celebrates after a surprising victory in the 1000 metre final at Adler Arena
  • The British men's curlers were narrow winners over the Swiss
  • Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt are delighted after clinching gold in the men's doubles luge event
  • Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov struggle to hold back tears of joy as they win gold for Russia in the figure skating pairs
  • Kaitlyn Farrington stole the show in the women's snowboard halfpipe
  • And won the gold medal for the USA
A look at some of the best pictures from day five of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Britain's Chemmy Alcott , having fought back from the third leg break of her career last August, was understandably delighted with her 19th place finish in the alpine skiing blue riband event, the women's downhill.

Switzerland's Dominique Gisin and Slovenian Tina Maze became the first athletes in winter Olympics history to share a gold medal after both recorded a time of one minute, 41.57 seconds at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center.

Gisin was the first to set the benchmark before Maze matched her, with another Swiss, Laura Gut, earning bronze after finishing 0.10 seconds adrift of the pair.

Alcott's time of 1:43.43 was 1.86secs off the pace, but there was no disguising her delight at making the top 20.

''To come and be 19th, less than two seconds off on the toughest downhill I've ever skied, it's up there,'' said the 31-year-old Londoner.

''I know that sounds crazy to some people because we've got a strong Team GB and we're going to win loads of medals here. (But) to come to my fourth Olympics, 19th is a gold for me.

''Anyone who's followed what I've been through will understand that.''

Alcott competed in the super combined earlier this week, taking part in the downhill event as practice for Wednesday's event before withdrawing from the slalom.That was always something she had intended to do, as she was wary of taking on too much after the latest leg break.

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