• Winter Olympics

Great Britain's men's curling team face semi-final decider

ESPN staff
February 16, 2014
David Murdoch admitted he was not at his best © AP

Great Britain's men's curling team were beaten 7-6 by Norway and missed out on the opportunity to secure a spot in the semi-finals with one match to spare.

A victory for skip David Murdoch and his team would have sealed Great Britain's place in the last four. However, a third defeat in eight games means the fight for a semi-final spot heads into the final round-robin fixtures.

Great Britain will guarantee their place in the semi-finals if they overcome China, but they can still qualify even if they lose on Monday and Norway are beaten twice, who have two games remaining along with China.

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Canada and Sweden are already into the semi-finals, and there is a three-way battle for the final two spots between Great Britain, Norway and China. If two teams finish on the same record, a play-off will be required to separate them.

"I had a couple of bad ones out there," a disappointed Murdoch told the BBC after he only scored one stone instead of an easy two at the fourth end. "We had them on the ropes a little bit a few times and never really took our chances.

"We could have been a bit more clinical and been in front a lot earlier. We showed that we are playing some good stuff in our first five and, certainly our last five, we played some decent stuff as well. We are going to have to come out tough tomorrow."

Britain's Zoe Gillings meanwhile narrowly missed out on a place in the final of the women's snowboard cross event after finishing fourth in her semi-final on a photo finish. Czech Republic's Eva Samkova went on to win the gold medal as defending Olympic champion Maelle Ricker had crashed out during the heats.

Overall, Gillings placed ninth, and said: "I'm really disappointed about the photo finish and not quite making the final but it can be pretty small margins in this sport. One of the officials said I'd made it but it flashed up on the screen about 15 seconds later that I hadn't."

Meanwhile, Great Britain's two-man bobsleigh team are 23rd following their opening two runs at the Sliding Center - Lamin Deen and John Baines are 2.53 seconds off Russia's top-placed first team. They lead the field with a combined time of one minute 52.82 seconds, with Switzerland's first team in second just 0.32s behind.

"We haven't had much time together and still have improvements to make," GB pilot Deen told BBC Sport. "I feel we'll be getting there tomorrow and top-20 is the target, but whatever happens this time on the ice will really help us come the four-man event."

Winston Watts and Marvin Dixon, the Jamaican two-man team, currently lie last of the 30 teams ahead of the third run on Monday. Only the top 20 teams will then be permitted to compete in the fourth and final run.

Jamaica are competing in their first Olympic bobsleigh run since 2002 and Watts, who represented his nation in 1994, 1998 and 2002, had to compete his second run with a partially broken helmet visor.

"It's just one of those things," Watts said. "I pulled my visor and with all the adrenaline it just broke, and I said 'Well, I'm not going to stop now, I'll show the world I've got heart and I'll take my sled down.'"

Jamaica's two-man bobsleigh team want to improve on their position of 30th © Getty Images
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