OLYMPIC CURLERS CONTEND IN THEIR LAST EVENTS BEFORE PYEONGCHANG
Team GB’s men’s and women’s curlers showed a sharpening of their form after both quartets made the business end of their respective tournaments in their final competitive outings before the Winter Olympics.
Having reached the final of the German Masters for a second consecutive year, the British men’s rink comprising Kyle Smith, Thomas Muirhead, Kyle Waddell, Cammy Smith and alternate Glen Muirhead were hungry for that title and took their Swiss opponents to an extra end but narrowly missed out 4-3 to Team Pfister.
Speaking from Hamburg after his last game before he makes his debut at the Games, Kyle Smith was happy with his team’s overall performance, at an event where another of the rinks on the British Curling programme, Team Drummond, also reached the knock out stages losing to Pfister in the quarter final. .
“I am very pleased with our good run of wins at this event and it was a pretty good final. I had a chance at the eighth with my last which took us to the extra but it curled a bit too much,” he said.
“The ice was tricky in some situations but we worked things out together as a team.
After seven games and seven good performances this was a good way to set things up before the Olympics. Everyone is working well and we are moving in the right direction and now this event is over we are getting excited and looking forward to our first Winter Games.”
Coach to the men’s Olympic representatives Viktor Kjell also felt they had used their time in Germany productively.
“Hamburg has been a great final preparation for South Korea. I am happy with their performance both as a team and as individuals and this will give us the right confidence for what lies ahead. We checked a lot of boxes at this event and we’re definitely in the right place moving forward,” Kjell said.
Eve Muirhead and her Sochi Olympic team mates Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams, Lauren Gray and fellow Olympian Kelly Schafer as alternate enjoyed a strong start to their title defence at the Glynhill Ladies International in a solid run, which included a 5-4 quarter final victory over domestic rivals Team Fleming. However just one game away from reaching the final again, they too lost out to a Swiss quartet - led by Binia Feltscher – who went on to claim the title.
“The preparation for the Olympic Games has almost come to an end and I can’t believe how quickly it’s come around, with our final competition before the Games this weekend at Intu Braehead in Glasgow,” said Eve Muirhead
“Going unbeaten through the qualification stage after playing some great games, we then went onto win the quarter final. A very strong Swiss team and the eventual winner of the tournament beat us in the semi final. But as a team we are proud of how we performed on some tricky ice conditions.
“We went into this competition focusing solely on this weekend and staying in the present. Olympic talk is all around but we are very focused on staying relaxed and in our set routines.
“Glenn Howard our tactical coach was over from Canada to do some final preparations with us and after some really in-depth pre-match briefs and de briefs, we as a team can’t wish to be in a better place right now.”
British Curling’s representatives at the Meridian Canadian Open,Team Mouat missed out on qualifying for the play-offs after they lost to European Champions Team Edin from Sweden.
Please click here for results and more information from the Glynhill Ladies International (18-21 January)
Please click here for results and more information from the German Masters (19-21 January)
Please click here for results and more information from the Meridian Canadian Open (16 – 21 January)
British Curling Photos: copyright Perthshire Picture Agency – Graeme Hart.