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Both Great Britain’s men’s and women’s curling teams got their PyeongChang 2018 campaign underway in fine style, winning their opening matches of the Olympics today. At Sochi four years ago, both teams medalled for the first time at a Winter Olympics and this morning’s results bode well for their chances of podium finishes.
The women – Team Muirhead – winner of the bronze medal at the 2017 World Championships, gave a dominant display, comfortably defeating the Olympic Athletes from Russia.
Quick out of the blocks, they led 3 – 0 after the first end, and 5 – 1 after the third. After scoring a four in the seventh end, they shook hands with the opposition to signal the end of the game and confirming an impressive 10 – 3 win.
Skip, Eve Muirhead, was pleased with the performance. She said: “To get off to a strong start like that at an Olympic Games is fantastic. It was crucial that we did that as it's a long week out here.
“For us that stamps our authority down that Team GB are here and we are playing well.”
The men – Team Smith – were delighted with a dramatic win over fellow medal-contenders Switzerland. Drawing 5 – 5, the match went to a sudden-death extra end, before skip Kyle Smith secured a 6 – 5 win.
Smith said: “It doesn't get much better than that. I'm really pleased, we played well and we ground out the win. You can't get off to a better start than that.”
Team Smith did not have things all their own way though, losing narrowly later on to World Champions Canada 6 – 4. Despite that defeat, Team Smith are still well placed to book a place in the semi-finals with seven more games to go in the round robin stage.
Weather disrupts Team GB events
British athletes continued to be frustrated by the elements. Alex Tilley and Charlotte Guest were due to compete in the women’s slalom, but the event went the way of many of alpine skiing’s so far, being cancelled due to strong winds. It has been rescheduled for Friday February 16.
Biathlon’s women’s 15km individual race, which Amanda Lightfoot was taking part in, was also postponed.
Yarnold and Deas top the clock
Women’s skeleton duo of Lizzy Yarnold and Laura Deas recorded quick times in their third training session, with Yarnold second fastest and Deas fourth fastest in the field on the day’s second run.
Elsewhere on Day Five
The Dutch speed-skating team won eight of the sport’s twelve gold medals on offer in Sochi and Jorien ter Mors’ speed-skating gold in the 1,000m today underscored their continued dominance of the sport. Also, at Phoenix Snow Park, history was made when Shaun White became the first man to win three snowboarding goals with victory in the men’s halfpipe, being pushed all the way though by Japan’s Ayumi Hirano.
Looking ahead to Day Six
With three practice sessions under their belt, Britain’s men’s skeleton sliders start their Olympic campaign for real tomorrow. Dom Parsons and Jerry Rice will complete their first two heats from 01:00, with the concluding two taking place on Friday, when the medals are decided.
In curling, Team Muirhead will look to build on their opening-day success. They play their first of two matches against the United States at 00:05, before facing China at 11:05. Team Smith contest their third match, against Japan, at 05:05.
Alex Tilley will attempt to get her Olympics under way at the third time of asking in the women’s giant slalom at 01:00 UK time, her first two scheduled events of slalom and giant slalom having both been postponed. Amanda Lightfoot is due to take part in the biathlon 15km individual women’s medal event at 08:15 UK time.