Curler Callum Kinnear was proud of his team’s performance at the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games despite a last-gasp quarter-final exit at the hands of Russia in the mixed team event.
Leading 6-5 heading into the final end, Russia sealed the win with the final stone of the match to end British hopes of a shot at a medal in the Lillehammer Curling Hall.
After an early steal in the opening end, Team GB’s young quartet of Kinnear, Ross Whyte, Amy Bryce and Mili Smith conceded three in the second and were always playing catch up against the much fancied Russians.
Team GB’s curlers will all feature in the mixed doubles event which starts on Thursday and Kinnear insists that the team are determined to enjoy the experience of the Games despite today’s defeat.
“It wasn’t our best of games and we came up against a good Russian outfit,” said Kinnear.
“We’ve played well all week but just struggled out there today. It’s never good to lose at this stage of the competition but we’re proud to have got this far.
“You have to be at your best to win games and we’ve learnt that. We weren’t at that level today and Russia have taken advantage.
“We’ve had a good time here at the Games and it’s been good fun being part of Team GB and living in the Village. We’ve still got another week here so we’ll look to enjoy it.”
The curlers will pair up with individuals from other nations for the mixed doubles and Team GB’s luge racer Lucas Gebauer-Barrett was in a similar position in today’s team event.
Partnered with Kazakhstan, Gebauer-Barrett – who finished 10th in the men’s singles event – eventually finished in 12th spot at the Lillehammer Sliding Centre.
On the other side of the valley, Yasmin Cooper’s giant slalom race ended in disappointment after the 17-year-old skied out during the top section after pushing hard on the Hafjell Olympic Slope course.
Despite the result, Cooper – who finished 13th in the super combined event and was visited by Olympic Champion Lindsey Vonn yesterday – was upbeat following the race and insisted she needs to test herself in order to progress. Advice heeded from the Olympic Champion and winner of 75 World Cup races.
“I skied out because I was attacking and really going for it at the top section,” said Cooper.
“I really don’t mind because I know I was going for it and trying my hardest, which is all you can do.
“I took a couple of risks on the super combined day and those paid off and today they didn’t – some days you win and some days to lose and I know that I won’t progress unless I push myself so I’m proud.”