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Team GB’s women’s Olympic curlers Team Muirhead reached the business end of their first competitive outing of 2018 when they qualified for the quarter finals of the International Bernese Ladies Cup, before they lost out 8-7 at an extra end to Team Wang. Bingyu Wang’s team who will represent China at the Olympic Games in South Korea next month went on to win the title.

The Scottish team’s result was more impressive given a late line up change as skip Eve Muirhead and her fellow Sochi Olympic bronze medallists Vicki Adams and Lauren Gray were joined on ice by alternate Kelly Schafer who stepped in at third for Anna Sloan, who had become ill just before the weekend and did not travel.

”Unfortunately Anna was struck down with a sickness bug just before we came to Berne so after some advice the sensible decision was for her to rest up and get better,” said Muirhead.

“Kelly arrived in Scotland (from Canada) last week and will be with us right through to the end of the Games so she stepped in this weekend at third. She has worked with us throughout the entire year and the team unity between the five of us and the coaches is very strong, which makes for last minute unforeseen circumstances being manageable.

“After qualifying through the B road, only dropping one game throughout qualification, we came up against Betty Wang from China in the quarter finals. She has a team that recently qualified for the Olympics. Both teams put in a solid performance in a game which could have gone either way, but unfortunately for us Betty had last stone in the extra end which made the difference.”

Team Jackson beat defending champions Team Paetz in their opening match having just missed out on qualifying in the C road and Team Fleming won the Consolation Cup when they beat Team Jentsch from Germany 5-3 in the final, while their fellow Scots Team Hamilton also got the competitive year underway at the event.

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British Curling photos: Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart. 


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