By Nicola Kenton
- Great Britain’s women lost their bronze medal match by 5-3 against Japan
- It is the first time that Japan have won an Olympic medal in curling
- XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea run until February 25
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA – Great Britain’s women could not add to the record medal tally, as they lost to Japan in the bronze medal match of the curling.
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Muirhead and co. miss out
On Friday, Eve Muirhead and her rink lost their semi-final to Sweden meaning that Great Britain’s women went into the bronze medal match and would face Japan.
Muirhead’s rink were hoping to add to Team GB’s record medal tally, which was reached earlier thanks to Billy Morgan‘s bronze medal in the Big Air. However, they could not produce the performance that they needed and finished in the agonising and dreaded fourth place position.
Japan however claimed their first ever Olympic curling medal with bronze, with tomorrow’s final to be contested between South Korea and Sweden.
Great Britain knocked out the reigning Olympic champions, Canada, in order to qualify for the semi-final where they would face Sweden. The match was a repeat of the 2017 European final where GB were the victors.
It was not a great start to the match for the GB team who were 2-0 down after the first two ends. However, they fought back and Muirhead levelled the match at 3-3 in the fifth end with an excellent takeout. Nevertheless Sweden continued to play well and by the seventh end, they had regained the lead and increased it to 8-3 having scored three when GB had the hammer.
The deficit was reduced in the eight end to 8-5 but Sweden added another two to their total in the ninth and claim their place in the gold medal match. While GB would face Japan in the game for a bronze medal.
The match of ‘forcing the one’
It was a slow start to the bronze medal match with each team forcing the one. On a couple of occasions it looked as though Muirhead was trying to blank the end and carry the hammer forward, but she was unable to produce the necessary final shot and scored one instead.
At the half-way stage Great Britain led by a score line of 3-2 and the match continued in a similar vein. Japan blanked the next end and carried the hammer but did not level the scores until the eighth end.
GB edged out by Japan
With the scores level at 3-3 after the eighth end, Great Britain had the hammer in the ninth. However, it was Japan who took advantage and led going into the final end by scoring one, after Eve Muirhead failed to take out the Japanese stone
Great Britain had the hammer in the final end and the match continued to be tense. With the final two stones to be played, GB and Japan both had stones in the house with Muirhead’s rink sitting first and third. Using their last stone, Japan added another into the house and was sat second and third.
Despite currently sitting first, Muirhead decided to go for the shot with the last stone to try and score a two; however, the shot was not accurate enough. GB knocked their own stone out of position and in turn moved one of the Japanese stones into the button to secure them the bronze medal.
The gold medal match between South Korea and Sweden takes place at 0.05 GMT on February 25th, while the final British interest in PyeongChang is that of the two four-man bobsleigh teams at 0.30 GMT.
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