Muirhead keeps cool to secure Olympic curling bronze
February 20, 2014 11:20 am
Ice cool Eve Muirhead delivered on her promise as tears turned to cheers for Great Britain's curling rink in Sochi today.
Muirhead admitted there were some tough words exchanged after a semi-final defeat to Canada had cost the world champions the chance to add the Olympic title to their resume.
But alongside fellow Scots Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton, she got her tactics spot on to defeat two-time silver medallist, Switzerland's Mirjam Ott, to take Olympic bronze.
It secures a fourth medal for the British team in Sochi, making these the most successful Winter Games since 1924.
And if David Murdoch and his men's curling rink upgrade guaranteed silver to gold tomorrow, it will be the best ever and there are still more chances to come. Great Britain's four-man bobsleigh team were quickest in training today and Elise Christie is a serious medal contender in tomorrow's 1000m short track speed skating.
Muirhead admitted the feeling was relief after finally winning the only medal missing from her collection, though her youthful rink will surely be back and looking for another upgrade in four years time.
Ott beat the British skip in the round robin stages and took an early lead in the bronze medal match, which was a cagey, tactical, low scoring and utterly absorbing affair.
Muirhead's rink all recorded high percentages and went into the final and decisive end tied at 5-5 but with the critical advantage of the final stone.
Ott is a canny operator but Muirhead is just as smart and her team are well drilled to listen and deliver on her instructions.
Muirhead will have played the regulation shot she had to win the bronze time and time again in practice, without a problem.
Ott's yellow stone was holding advantage but Muirhead got her final delivery inch perfect and once again the tears flowed, though this time it was relief rather than frustration.
"This means so much," said Muirhead. "After the disappointment of the semi-final we immediately said we can't feel like that again, we wanted this medal so badly."
© Sportsbeat 2014