Curling hopes hit by defeat

BRITISH curling skip Eve Muirhead’s hopes of progressing to the play-offs are hanging by a thread after suffering a third straight defeat last night.

Muirhead looked downcast and dejected after the 10-6 loss to two-time Olympic silver medallist Mirjam Ott, of Switzerland.

Muirhead’s rink have now played seven and lost four, meaning they must win their remaining two matches and hope other results go their way to stand a chance of progressing.

Eight years ago Rhona Martin lost four group games and then stormed through the page play-offs to gold but Muirhead’s rink – Jackie Lockhart, Kelly Wood and Lorna Vevers – don’t have the same momentum.

The 19-year old skip looked lost for words when she found herself 8-1 down after just four ends and despite a brief rally now finds herself with a major challenge to pick herself up.

Muirhead is expected to beat Denmark, who have mustered just two wins from seven, but then she will face Cheryl Bernard’s Canada, who despite their mixed pre-Games form, are looking strong, securing a 9-2 victory over the USA with three ends to spare yesterday.

“It is going to be tough to get back from three wins and four losses, but we can only take each game at a time and try and perform the way we know we can, like in the second half of this game,” said Muirhead.

“We are not down and out of it yet but we need to play well and get a bit of luck.”

Meanwhile, American Bode Miller finally claimed his first Olympic gold – and his fifth career medal – with a stunning super-combined victory. Croatia’s Ivica Kostelic claimed silver while Switzerland’s Silvan Zurbriggen took bronze.

l Lloyds TSB, proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and supporter of Team GB on their journey to Vancouver 2010.