Sochi – Curling Day 3 (Wednesday)

Eve Muirhead (above) has every right to look anxious as her Great Britain women’s team are having a tough start to their campaign at the Winter Olympics.

Wednesday saw them playing the much-fancied Canada who have the experienced Jennifer Jones as skip for these Olympics.

The fans back home were, once again, spared the 0500 start but this won’t last for long…

After an initial steal by the Canadians, the game went with hammer and GB were keeping up with the Canadians but the fifth end was to be something of a turning point when Jennifer Jones played a great angled take-out with her last stone to score three and take a 6-3 lead into the break.

Eve showed composure to take a two in the sixth to keep in touch with the Canadians and the scoring continued to go with hammer from then on but the seventh end was to prove an interesting one.

Both teams had been debating whether a Canadian stone at the back of the house was in or out and when Jones hit and stuck with her last stone instead of rolling out she was dismayed when the umpire confirmed the aforementioned stone was out – she only scored one when a blanked end would have been preferable.

In the final end, Eve was left with very little time to play her last stone and an umpire’s intervention to explain a technical time-out due to the clocks apparently malfunctioning didn’t help matters.

Eve had the option of a draw for two to take the game to an extra end or to try a big take-out and win the game – she opted for the latter and it didn’t come off, giving a steal to Canada. The final score of 9-6 to the Canadians is flattering but it was a GB defeat nonetheless.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7  8  9 10 Total
CAN 1 0 2 0 3 0 1 0 1 1 9
0 1 0 2 0 2 0 1 0 0 6

Women’s Draw 4 results:

Japan 8-4 Russia
USA 4-7 China
Korea 4-7 Sweden
Canada 9-6 Great Britain

Women’s Standings (W-L)
3-0 Canada, Switzerland
2-1 China, Japan, Sweden
2-2 Russia
1-2 Great Britain, Korea
0-3 Denmark
0-4 USA

I’m sure we would have liked to have seen Eve and the girls a little higher up the table but they have played two of the big teams so far and are more than capable of coming back from their current position.

Next up for the World Champions is China at 0500 UK time on Thursday – their only game of the day.

Better set that alarm clock now…

The men, meanwhile, enjoyed a good win over Sven Michel’s European Champions from Switzerland.

It was expected to be a tight one but I don’t think anybody predicted that we would get the joint-lowest score in Olympic curling history, finishing as it did 4-2.

With four blank ends and singles all the way, Great Britain controlled from the start with Greg Drummond in particular having another excellent game.

After the game, GB skip David Murdoch said: “That was a much better performance. We really came out today firing. We wanted to come out and step on their toes. We were always going to stay ahead of them and we just pushed and pushed them the whole game. We really dominated throughout and were in control.”

1 2 3 4 5 6 7  8  9 10 Total
SUI 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2
0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 4

Men’s Draw 4 results:

Denmark 5-9 USA
Norway 8-5 Germany
China 5-4 Switzerland

Men’s Draw 5 results:

Germany 7-11 China
Switzerland 2-4 Great Britain
Russia 4-7 Canada
Denmark 8-5 Sweden

Men’s Standings (W-L)
4-0 China
3-0 Norway
3-1 Great Britain, Sweden
2-2 Canada, Denmark
1-2 USA
1-3 Switzerland
0-4 Germany, Russia

A very solid start for Great Britain’s men – their next game is at 1000 UK time on Thursday against the USA.

Big end of the day was shared by Canada and Denmark’s men who both picked up fours.

The Sochi curling website is here and the WCF Olympic website is here.

Photos are © WCF/Richard Gray 2014