GB curling skip Kyle Smith seeks consistency on the ice
The British skip and his youthful rink have had a rollercoaster Games so far, beating Switzerland, pushing Canada close and then losing to a Korean team who hadn’t won a single match.
But they returned to winning ways against Italy yesterday, although they made tough work of it.
Smith’s rink were forced to an extra end by Joel Retornaz and the skip had to keep his nerve to deliver a perfectly weighted shot to secure the victory.
It leaves the British team as one of three in a tie for fourth in the standings, with three wins and three defeats.
It means there is no margin for error ahead of remaining games against Denmark, Norway and the United States, all teams with similar records.
“I didn’t have a lot of confidence and that was one of my worst games of the week but the guys did a great job to set that up for me,” said Smith.
“I thought about all the times I’ve thrown that shot in practice and tried to stay in the moment and get my weight right.
“It was a must-win match to stay in contention with some of the other teams and a couple more wins and things will be looking really good.
“I thought there was a lot of positives to how we approached and played the game. This gives us more momentum and there are lots of things to improve on too.”
Women’s skip Eve Muirhead will be looking for momentum ahead of today’s clash with Switzerland, a repeat of the Olympic bronze match four years ago. Muirhead had taken gold medal favourites Sweden to an extra end but as she delivered Britain’s final crucial stone, the lights on the handle flashed to indicate she had not released the rock before the red “hog line”.
Muirhead protested her innocence but it was too late, with Sweden securing an 8-6 victory with a free shot.
“We’re still struggling a little bit, we’re not quite on point as we usually are,” said team-mate Anna Sloan. “But we can take confidence from having a close game against Sweden, who are probably the favourites here.
“That hog drop is just an example of the story of our week so far. We’re going to have to bin that and work together as a team. We’ll go in for the next game all guns blazing. We’ll do our best and see where we are after that.”
l Catch Eve Muirhead take on Switzerland live on the Eurosport Player today at 11am. Don’t miss a moment of the Olympic Winter Games at eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app.