Team GB Women into Olympic Semi Final After Defeating Canada
Team GB’s women beat Canada 6-5 to secure their place in the semi final and to remain in medal contention at the Olympic Games. Their must win game against the pre-tournament favourites proved to be a historic outcome for defending nation Canada who failed to progress to the play-offs for the first time and will consequently be the first Canadians to return home without a medal.
Canada’s Team Homan, who are number two in the world rankings and current world champions appeared to take charge early on in the game and after a measure gave them two in the second end they followed that with a single steal at the next they were still leading 3-2 at half way.
The sixth end however proved to be a turning point when skip Rachel Homan’s nose hit with her final stone meant she took a single instead of blanking the end, which allowed the British quartet to blank the seventh to retain the hammer. In the eighth end a timely two took the GB side level for the first time in the match and in the ninth, an impressive double raise double from Skip Eve Muirhead forced Homan to draw for a single, leaving her team defending a one shot lead going into the final end. A concerted effort from Team Muirhead meant that despite a successful double take out by the Canadian skip with her first stone, she still had to draw into a tight space to make Muirhead deliver her last, but she failed to do so, leaving the British quartet with two stones lying for the match, taking them into the play-offs.
Skip Eve Muirhead said after the game against Canada: "It was a great team performance it shows we have a lot of determination, a lot of patience and I'm really delighted to get the semi-final spot.
"As a team I think we played really well. Everyone is communicating great. Our coach Glenn (Howard) has passed on a lot of his expertise and to have him in our corner and not in their corner is great.
"The last few games we've got better and better and that's important building into the play-offs. We love playing under the pressure. You thrive under that. When you're on the ice, you don't think of anything else."
"Coming into the competition, we knew that all ten teams were very strong. Obviously Canada is one of the top nations, but ladies curling is in a very good place right now. Any one of those ten teams were capable of getting medal here.
"For us to book our spot in the semis is great. Canada are not there for the first time ever, but all we can do is concentrate on our performances."
Team Muirhead’s Coach Glenn Howard said of today’s performance, “The last five ends of that game were by far the best five ends we've played this week. That's what I want to see. The girls were out there to win it.
“I'm so proud they didn't worry about the outcome, they stuck to the processes and they went and made curling shots and did so precisely. That just shows that under the gun they can make those shots.”
Commenting on progressing to the semi finals, he said: "You can't get to the gold medal match until you get to the semi-final so it's about minor goals.
"The first goal is to get to the final four. Whether you're first, second, third or fourth in the rankings, it doesn't matter. It is two semi-finals and that is where we're at now. The next goal is to win that."
Women’s Standings after session 11 (win-loss):
Q Korea 7-1
Q Sweden 6-2
Q Great Britain 6-3
United States 4-4
Olympic Athlete from Russia 2-6
Men’s standings after session ten (win-loss):
Sweden 7-1 Q
Great Britain 5-3
United States 3-4
Competition schedule (GMT) and results:
00.05 GB v Switzerland (men) 6-5
05.05 GB v OAR (women) 10-3
11.05 GB v Canada (men) 6-4
00.05 GB v USA (women) 4-7
05.05 GB v Japan (men) 6-5
11.05 GB v China (women) 8-7 (EE)
11.05 GB v Sweden (men) 6-8
11.05 GB v Denmark (women) 7-6
05.05 GB v Korea (men) 5-11
11.05 GB v Korea (women) 4-7
05.05 GB v Sweden (women) 6-8
11.05 GB v Italy (men) 7-6
05.05 GB v Denmark (men) 7-6
11.05 GB v Switzerland (women) 8-7
00.05 GB v Norway (men) 10-3
05.05 GB v Japan (women) 8-6
00.05 GB v Canada (women) 6-5
11.05 GB v USA (men)
00.05 Tiebreakers men and women
11.05 Semi finals (men)
06.30 Bronze (men)
11.05 Semi finals (women)
06.30 Final (men)
11.05 Bronze (women)
00.05 Final (women)
Photos: WCF / Richard Gray