SCOTS AIM FOR THREE IN A ROW IN JAPAN

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British Curling’s Team Smith are seeking to pull off a Scottish hat-trick at the Karuizawa International this week (14-17 December) after teams skipped by Sochi silver medallists Tom Brewster and David Murdoch won the title in each of the previous two years.

Newly crowned European Champions Team Muirhead are also at the event in a strong women’s field and for both teams it marks their first international event since their medal successes in St Gallen last month. The international is also one of the last tournaments for the Team GB standard bearers ahead of the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea.

Skip Kyle Smith who will be making his debut in the Games next year noted that travelling east for this event will provide the perfect opportunity to test out preparations for PyeongChang.

Smith said: “We are really looking forward to this tournament as it is our first time in Asia except for Glen (Muirhead –part of Team Brewster who won the title last year). There will be a lot of new experiences for us, a different culture, food and time zone and it is a great time to experience all of this before February.

“It is very important for us to get a good feel for this before we head back to this part of the world so we are comfortable when we enter the holding camp. We will have seen it all before and we are grateful to have been given this opportunity,” he said.

“There was great feedback from other British Curling teams who have been here previously and obviously like them we want to have success here too. Our approach this week will be slightly different given we want to absorb as much as possible because of what it is ahead of us.”

Sochi bronze medallists Team Muirhead also relished the prospect of competing in Japan having taken part in the event last year.

Skip Eve Muirhead said: “It’s been a pretty intense period leading up to and including the Europeans, so it is really nice to be in Japan to round off 2017.

“We had a great welcome at this event last year, we loved the people, their culture and really loved the food. We also know how useful this will be for our Olympic preparations, making sure we get all our processes right for the change in time zones.

“It has been a great year and we have an amazing Olympic year to look forward to and I can’t think of a better place to be at this stage of our preparations. Competing in our last event of the year we really want to enjoy this great venue whilst also doing some extra homework just before we have a few days off for Christmas,” she said.

“As soon as that has passed we will be back on ice training before we welcome in the new year and everything that will bring.”

Please click here for more information and results from the Karuizawa International mens tournament:

Please click here for more information and results from the Karuizawa International womens tournament:

Teams:

Team Muirhead
Eve Muirhead
Anna Sloan
Vicki Adams
Lauren Gray
Kelly Schafer

Team Smith
Kyle Smith
Thomas Muirhead
Kyle Waddell
Cammy Smith
Glen Muirhead

PHOTO: Perthshire Picture Agency – Graeme Hart.

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