Winter Olympics: Britain's Team Muirhead secure curling semi-final spot

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Eve Muirhead’s British rink are into the semi-finals of the women’s Olympic curling tournament (picture Andy J Ryan/Team GB)
Eve Muirhead’s British rink are into the semi-finals of the women’s Olympic curling tournament (picture Andy J Ryan/Team GB)

Eve Muirhead’s British curling rink appear to be peaking when it matters after successfully booking their place in the Olympic semi-finals – and knocking out curling heavyweights Canada, writes Pippa Field in PyeongChang.

The Sochi 2014 bronze medallists went into their final round robin match knowing that victory would secure their last-four place and a guaranteed chance to play for another Olympic medal.

It would be no easy task though with Canada, led by skip Rachel Homan, the reigning world champions.

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The country has also bossed matters on the ice, with the women’s team having finished on the podium at every Games since 1998, including taking gold four years ago.

But that run is now at an end, courtesy of a composed and clinical 6-5 win from Team Muirhead, who are coached by Canadian four-time world champion Glenn Howard.

“The last five ends of that game were by far the best five ends we’ve played this week,” he said. “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 went and made them precisely. That just shows that under the gun they can make those shots.

“At the fifth end I told the girls not to panic. Just be patient and stick to our plan. There will always be moments where you think negative thoughts. That’s just normal, we’re all human.

“It was a brilliant performance by all four of them in that last five ends.”

  • Can Team GB add to their four medals in the final days of competition? Don’t miss a moment of the Olympic Winter Games at Eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app 

After a stronger start for Canada, Britain managed to finally level the match in the eighth, after Muirhead removed two Canadian stones with her shot of the Games.

Their opponents edged back in front in the ninth but with the hammer advantage in the tenth, Team Muirhead stocked the house with yellow stones.

That put the pressure on Homan who reduced the number to two with her penultimate stone but then came up short on her her final effort.

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Muirhead’s rink will discover their semi-final opponent later today after the conclusion of the round robin stages, although the skip was delighted with their current form.

“It was a great team performance, it shows we have a lot of determination, a lot of patience and I’m really happy to get the semi-final spot,” she said.

“As a team I think we played really well. Everyone is communicating great. Our coach Glenn 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 know our semi final will be very tough, whoever we’re playing. One thing we did great is we didn’t panic. The last few ends were very clinical and as a team I’m delighted the patience paid off.”

  • Can Team GB add to their four medals in the final days of competition? Don’t miss a moment of the Olympic Winter Games at Eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app 

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