The medal hopes of the men and women curlers of Team GB are still alive, with the prospect of both sides making the semi-finals a distinct possibility after results at the Gangneung Curling Centre today.
It was, though, a day of mixed fortunes. Although the women secured their last-four place with a brilliant 6-5 win over World Champions Canada, the men were beaten 10-4 by USA, forcing them into a tie-break against Switzerland tomorrow morning (00:05 GMT) to determine who reaches the semi-finals.
The women – consisting of Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Lauren Grey – went into the ninth end trailing 5-4. Their experience told, and with the hammer in the final end they took full advantage to score the decisive two points to take them into Friday’s knockout game.
Skip Eve Muirhead 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.”
Whether they are joined by the men remains in the balance. Team Smith had won their last three games but came unstuck against the USA, struggling to ever get going en route to their defeat.
They lie joint third in the final group standings, alongside America and Switzerland. The USA’s superior head-to-head record takes them through, leaving Team Smith to battle it out with the Swiss for the right to play group-winners Sweden.
Bobsleigh duo make history
At the Olympic Sliding Centre, Team GB’s women’s bobsleigh team gained a top-10 finish and the best-ever result by a GB women’s bobsleigh team.
The duo of driver Mica McNeill and brakewoman Mica Moore finished eighth, clocking third and fourth runs today of 51.16 and 51.19, with an accumulative time of 3.24.07m.
The pair were ecstatic with the result, with Moore saying, “Our brains are just frazzled, we are just so happy. We can't believe we are here to start with and then to come eighth and make history with the best British finish is incredible.”
Brits impress on big air debut
At the inaugural big air competition, Team GB’s snowboarders gave fantastic accounts of themselves.
Billy Morgan finished sixth in his qualifying group at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre to progress to Saturday’s final. He bettered his first jump of 87.50 with a second that scored 90.50 to emerge the 6th and last competitor to advance from his group of 18 contenders. In the final, Morgan will feel confident he can improve on his current highest Winter Olympics placing of tenth in the slopestyle at Sochi 2014.
Rowan Coultas performed brilliantly on his debut Olympics, the 20-year-old finishing eighth in his group with two excellent jumps of 81 and 84.50 points, narrowly missing out on a final spot but providing plenty of encouragement with one eye on Beijing 2022.
Jamie Nicholls top-scored with 81.25, eventually finishing in eleventh position.
Continuing the trend of Team GB athletes not necessarily gaining the outcome their performance deserved, a team comprising Andrew Musgrave, Andrew Young and Callum Smith finished a commendable 6th of 14 in the semi-final of the men’s cross-country skiing freestyle team sprint. Their time of 16.30.62 unluckily left them just outside the top 10 nations across two heats who advanced to the final.
Norway’s Bjorgen makes Winter Olympic history
History was made in the women’s cross-country team sprint free. Marit Bjorgen at 37-years-old became the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time, winning her 14th medal as Norway collected bronze. The race was also notable for being the first time USA have won a medal in a cross-country skiing medal in a women’s team event – and it was gold.
Finland beat the Olympic Athletes from Russia 3-2 in ice-hockey’s bronze medal match and Italian Sofia Goggia took the women’s downhill in a time of 1.39.22m.