TEAM SMITH CLAIM TWO VICTORIES ON DAY ONE OF EUROPEAN CHAMPS
Scotland’s Team Smith got their campaign off to a flying start at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships with two wins from two on the opening day of action in St Gallen.
The team selected to represent Team GB at the 2018 Winter Olympics were in imperious form as they claimed their second win of the day beating Austria 7-2. They defeated their opponents in a similar fashion earlier in the day, putting together a dominant performance to claim a 7-3 victory against Italy.
Skip Kyle Smith said after his matches: “We have had a terrific start to the tournament. In our second match tonight we had a really decent end to claim a three at the second end and that set us up nicely.”
From there the team were unassailable, with Austria picking up no more than singles at the fourth, sixth and eighth ends which was not enough to counter Smith’s rink claiming doubles at the fifth and seventh, which helped them to maintain a 100% record by the end of the first day.
Their coach Viktor Kjell was pleased with their performance. Kjell said: “It has been a good first day, executing everything according to plan and we are seeing all of the practice at home starting to pay off.
“All four of the players played very well today and it is a great start to what will be a long week of round robin. So tomorrow we start all over again and we will take it day by day,” Kjell said.
Smith added: “It was a great atmosphere in the arena tonight and the conditions were good and we were nailing our draw weight so it was really enjoyable and we were playing some good curling.
“Tomorrow we have a one game day – we play Russia and we have not played their skip before but we will adopt the same approach and aim to start well and see where it takes us from there, but we don’t want to let up. We will take it game by game and see where we are by the end of the round robin,” he said. .
Earlier in the day Scotland’s women Team Muirhead lost their opener 5-2 in a tightly fought affair against Sweden, who won silver at last year's European Championships.
Muirhead’s rink have another tough match tomorrow against Russia who will be defending their European title which was won by a different Russian quartet last year.
Day 1 Results:
(M)Scotland v Austria 7-2
(W)Scotland v Sweden 5-2
(M)Scotland v Italy 7-3
PHOTO: WCF / RICHARD GRAY.