Muirhead and Smith back on the ice after PyeongChang

Muirhead and Smith back on the ice after PyeongChang

02 March 2018 / 16:43
Great Britain’s Eve Muirhead and Kyle Smith are being pitched straight back into a domestic battle after their Olympic curling campaigns.

Muirhead’s rink - who lost in the final stone of their bronze medal match in PyeongChang - and Smith’s team, who finished fifth on their Games debut, will take on the Scottish champions in a best of three match play-off this weekend to go to their respective World Championships.

And Muirhead is in no mood let rival Hannah Fleming’s rink travel to an event she won in 2013, while claiming bronze 12 months ago.

“To get the chance to represent your country is very special and after winning the Europeans and finishing fourth at the Olympics obviously off the back of that we would love to finish our season with a really good result,” she said.

“As a team we fight for places at major championships year in and year out, so this is no different to that. This will be similar to the final of the Scottish Championships in that it is a do or die situation.

"Hannah and her team thoroughly deserved winning that title and we now have to go out and compete for that place at the worlds.”

Team Smith faces Bruce Mouat in Perth and are looking to secure their place at the World Championships for the first time, concluding a season that has seen them become the first British men’s team to reach a Grand Slam final and win silver at the European Championships.

“We are really looking forward to the first-ever world play-off,” said Smith. "It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to still have the chance to represent Scotland at the World Championships, so we are very grateful to be in this position.

“We have had a few days to try and get back into normal sleeping patterns and we are hoping after the Olympics there is increased interest from the public in this event and hoping there is a bit of a buzz about the rink.

“We haven’t been to a Men’s World Championships yet, so we will be giving all we have got to win the two games needed to get us there.”

For Mouat there is an extra motivation, having just missed out on selection with partner Gina Aitken for the first-ever Olympic mixed doubles curling tournament.

“Obviously it was bitterly disappointing not to get the Team GB spot at the Olympics last year, we missed the chance that was in our hands and we just had to park that,” he said. 

“I think I surprised myself at how I bounced back so quickly and having the focus of a new team re-invigorated my drive and love of the sport and I have really enjoyed playing this season.”