Team GB’s Men Lose Olympic Tie Breaker To Switzerland
In a closely fought match, Team Smith looked to have the upper hand in the earlier part of the game and were leading 4-1 after the fourth end. In the fifth a couple of missed shots by the GB side gave up two to the Swiss rink and in the sixth end skip Kyle Smith missed a chance at the last, which meant the Swiss secured a steal of one to take the game level for the first time.
The British quartet tactically blanked the seventh end to retain the hammer and in the eighth they made their last stone count against four Swiss stones lying to get them out of trouble. However they were not so fortunate in the ninth as, in a heavily crowded house, with two Swiss stones already counting, Benoit Schwartz removed two GB stones with his final stone to give them five and the match was over in the tenth when the British men ran out of stones.
Skip Kyle Smith said afterwards: “We started off very strong and we put ourselves in a great position and a couple of missed shots were the difference in the game.
“They are a good aggressive team and when they make a lot of shots it is hard to defend against.
“We gave it our best shot but that’s the dream over. I’ll take a lot from the experience coming to the Olympic Games with my best friends and my brother, that’s something you dream of as a boy.
“There are lots of positives to take from this and learn from. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves in some of the tighter games. We were two wins and three losses and we’ve got back into the tournament beating some of the best teams in the world.
“It’s a sore one, we gave ourselves the chance of making the semi-finals but we couldn’t make it happen.”
Coach Viktor Kjell thought his team deserved a better outcome. “We are very disappointed and I thought we were the better the team the whole game but they stepped it up. I just don’t know what happened in that ninth end. We missed four or five shots in a row and you cannot afford to do that at this level,” he said.
“I thought we’d almost got away with it and then he (Schwarz) plays a pistol shot and walks away with a five. I thought we deserved to be in the play-offs. We deserved a better destiny than this.
“This will take some time to reflect on but they’ve learned a lot as a team and a lot as individuals.”
Thomas Muirhead who plays third for Team Smith added to his coach’s sentiments."It’s not the outcome we wanted obviously, not the way we wanted to go out of the Games. We came here targeting the semi finals and podium.
"We missed a chance in the 6th end and then in the 9th we had to make sure they didn't blank it and it was the end that cost us.
"It feels very raw right now, we thought we had that game but we can say we left nothing behind and we gave it our best shot as we wanted to make those semis. They are a good team and we have played the best in the world this last week so I guess we can take some positives from the fact that we made it this far and it has been an amazing experience being at our first Games.”
Muirhead will now concentrate efforts on backing his sister’s team, Team Muirhead as they continue their Olympic campaign in the women’s semi final against Sweden.
"We will be back here tomorrow for Eve and the girls and we will be supporting them every step of the way,” he added.
Team GB’s women who won bronze in Sochi four years ago, will play Sweden at 11.05 (GMT) tomorrow.
Semi finals (women):
GB v Sweden
Korea v Japan
Semi finals (men):
Sweden v Switzerland
Canada v USA
Standings after men’s round robin (win-loss):
Tie breaker GB v Switzerland 5-9
Q Sweden 7-2
Q Canada 6-3
Q United States 5-4
Q Switzerland 5-4
Great Britain 5-4
Standings after women’s round robin (win-loss):
Q Korea 8-1
Q Sweden 7-2
Q Great Britain 6-3
Q Japan 5-4
United States 4-5
Olympoc Athlete from Russia 2-7
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
00.05 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) 10-4
00.05 Tiebreakers men and women
GB v Switzerland 5-9
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