Team Muirhead crowned European curling champions

Team Muirhead crowned European curling champions

25 November 2017 / 13:39

Team Muirhead flung themselves into each other's arms as the reality of being crowned European champions hit home - and they couldn't have asked for better timing if they tried.

Just 80 days stand between Eve Muirhead's rink and the start of their Winter Olympic campaign, and with the continental title now under their belts, confidence will be high they can repeat the trick with little under three months to go.

Four years have passed since Muirhead won her last major title on the ice, World Championship gold coming in Riga the year before her then-rink won Olympic bronze at Sochi 2014.

But that record was set straight in St Gallen, Switzerland, as Team Muirhead defeated Sweden 6-3 to stand atop the podium, avenging their opening match loss against Anna Hasselborg’s rink a week ago.

And with PyeongChang 2018 just around the corner, victory for Muirhead's rink over their opponents - undefeated prior to the final - couldn't have tasted any sweeter.

"European champion sounds pretty nice. It's been a tough week and we've played really well," said Muirhead, who won her first European gold back in 2011.

"We've been working hard all season, and to come out on top and be European champions is really, really special.

"When we knew we were facing Anna we knew we'd have to play our game of the week."

In reaching the final, Team Muirhead - Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Lauren Gray completing the rink - ensured Scotland's eighth successive European medal, but faced the toughest of challenges in the form of Sweden's Team Hasselborg, last year's silver medallists.

Sweden opened the scoring in the first end of the final with a single point draw by skip Hasselborg.

It didn't take long for Team Muirhead to restore parity, however, Scotland’s skip hitting out a Sc stone and rolling her own into position to score a point.

At the start of the sixth end, Sweden were leading 2-1 but Muirhead made the first big breakthrough, hitting out a Swedish stone to seal the only two-point end of the game.

Scotland led 4-3 going into the ninth end but were gifted a point when Hasselborg's final-stone draw proved too heavy, before she made the same mistake in the final end leading to their opponents taking the win.

And for Muirhead, victory could not have come at a better time as attentions turn to South Korea.

"That was my eighth consecutive European medal, but only one before was gold," she added.

"That's now two and it feels extra special with everyone talking about the Olympics now."

Sportsbeat 2017

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