Winter Sports - Brits in Sochi: GB curlers face battle to reach semi-finals

Great Britain’s curling rinks suffered setbacks on Saturday at the Sochi Winter Olympics to leave their semi-final hopes in doubt.

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Winter Sports - Brits in Sochi: GB curlers face battle to reach semi-finals
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Britain's Claire Hamilton (L-R), Vicki Adams, skip Eve Muirhead and Anna Sloan stand together during their women's curling round robin game against Switzerland (Reuters)

CURLING

David Murdoch admitted the margin between victory and defeat against Olympic curling champions Canada couldn't have been any slimmer as they fell on the wrong side of a 7-5 defeat.

Skip Murdoch's Team GB men's rink have been in fine form in Sochi and were looking to claim a fifth successive win and take their record to six victories and one loss against Canada.

They came ever so close too with Murdoch forced to play a double takeout with his last stone and missing by a matter of millimetres as Canada chalked up victory.

And Murdoch, whose rink is now on a record of five and two and equal third with the Canadians with a key match to secure a semi-final place against Norway next, insisted there was literally nothing in it.

"You are talking one millimetre on the higher side and that would have been the game. It is a pretty cruel blow to be honest," he said.

"We were tactically smart and played well, we forced a lot of pressure on them and we didn't get the win, so maybe the luck has evened itself out this week.

"This team can play on the big stage. That was the Olympic Games against Canada, it doesn't get any bigger than that.

"The guys didn't feel an ounce of pressure. There was a real good feeling and belief throughout the game and that was nice to see.

"We will need to bin that one and move on. We have got two big games now, to get over that finish line into the semi-final and we certainly need a few more wins if we are going to do that."

Eve Muirhead's British rink ended the day with one win and one defeat from their two clashes, the Scot seeing off South Korea in the morning 10-8 but falling to Switzerland 8-6 in the evening.

Britain are now joint third in the overall standings with China and Switzerland after picking up four wins and three losses.

It means they must win at least one of their remaining two matches against Russia and Denmark to book a semi-final spot.

ALPINE SKIING

Chemmy Alcott admitted her expectations got the better of her after she failed to improve on her downhill result in the Super-G at the Winter Olympics.

Alcott compared her 19th in the downhill on Wednesday to like winning gold but she had to make do with four places lower and 23rd in the Super-G.

She clocked a time of 1:29.14 minutes as Anna Fenninger wrapped up another gold for Austria with a run that was over three seconds quicker.

And Alcott conceded that she had got caught up with the emotions of her downhill finish and quickly realised that you don't always get what you want.

"I should have managed my expectations a bit better but I just know if I could do it again I would be a lot better," she said.

"I saw a lot of the girls skiing pretty and round so I took some risks and they paid off until the last pitch. I just made a judgment error and had to battle down.

"You choose your own fate and that [crashing out] wasn't going to be my fate. I was going to fight down and get my best result ever, that is how I think.

"Ski racing is a brutal sport, to go out on your best race ever is the golden day but I don't think that golden day happens that often.

"It was brutal, you had ice at the top to deal with then it was gripping and then there was snow at the bottom.

"I knew that wasn't going to suit me because you haven't got any feeling on this and I haven't got any feeling anyway."

SKELETON

Great Britain skeleton racer Kristan Bromley insists he'll have no regrets when he looks back on his four Olympic appearances.

Bromley, 41, ranked Team GB's best slider once again in the men's competition, with his eighth place at the Sanki Sliding Centre, while team-mate Dominic Parsons finished tenth.

"I was hoping to challenge for at least top six but that is just the way it is racing," said Bromley, who won the world title in 2008 and boasts finishes of sixth, fifth and 13th at previous Games.

"When you have a four tenth of a second difference at the start it is just too much on that track, it really is a starter's track.

"The other Olympics I have had a lot of pressure, a lot of stress and I came here without the expectation and probably feel as though I have put in one of my better performances.

"Mixing it with these athletes for me is fantastic. I am at that stage in my career where I have got to pull that start deficit back but my driving has been brilliant and my sled has been brilliant."

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