Team Muirhead Win Bronze At World Championships
Team Muirhead have won the bronze medal at the CPT World Women’s Curling Championship in Beijing, defeating Sweden 8-5. It was the third time the Scottish team faced Anna Hasselborg’s rink during the tournament and having lost to them on the previous two occasions, made victory all the sweeter.
The bronze medal finish capped off Team Muirhead’s other mission during the nine day tournament to secure the much coveted GB place for the next Winter Olympics in PyeongChang and Scotland’s skip Eve Muirhead could not be more pleased with the team’s efforts.
“We as a team are delighted to medal. We knew Sweden would be tough but we were gutsy in our determination to get the win,” said Muirhead.
“Stealing in the last two ends was a demonstration of that. We are so proud to bring a medal back to Scotland.”
It was their first medal at a World Championships since winning the title in 2013 as the team build towards peaking at the next Winter Olympic Games having won bronze at Sochi in 2014.
Team Muirhead’s coach and four time World Champion Glenn Howard who joined the team before the start of this season, said: “The match was terrific, it was well curled from both sides, with both teams having had chances to put the game away though Sweden probably had a few more than us.
“It was a brilliant game and I am really proud of the girls. From our perspective the last seven ends were the best seven ends we have played this year. Everything came together from team dynamics to communication, to rock placement and execution, it was a pleasure to watch,” he said.
“The first two or three ends were really tough but we made a ton of good curling shots in the next seven ends and the tenth end was point perfect by every player all the way through and then good things happen.
“To come away with a medal is absolutely fantastic. Obviously we had our ups and downs this week, we weren’t really at our best but they showed mental fortitude and obviously the desire, came out in this game and really wanted it and to see the tears at the end was pretty special,” Howard noted.
Looking ahead to the pinnacle of the sport at the next Games in 2018, Howard added, “At the end of that game and the way they played they gave it 150% and that shows it is in there and is something we are going to build on for the coming year.”
Muirhead has now completed a full set of medals at the Worlds, winning silver in 2010 and gold in 2013 along with team mates Anna Sloan and Vicki Adams. On that occasion Lauren Gray was on the bench and claimed gold as alternate, however this tournament marked her first playing involvement at a World Championships.
“It’s a completely different experience to being on the bench where you probably have more nerves because you can’t influence what is going on,” said Gray, who like Howard also joined the team before this season.
“I had to put all the new things I have learned into practice and it was very tight but we did it and I was just overjoyed and emotional and everyone was quite emotional to clinch it at the end.
“The other girls have competed at many World Championships, whereas this was my first one on the ice, so it is extra, extra special for me getting my first World Championship medal playing at my first World Champs.
“We were all absolutely overjoyed to win it, I am sure it never gets old winning a medal at this level of your sport.”
For results from the World Curling Federation please click here.
Team photo: WCF / Celine Stucki
Lauren Gray photo: WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik