sport

Missed chance for GB curlers

Great Britain's men's curling team missed the chance to guarantee qualification to the semi-finals following a 7-6 defeat by Norway in Sochi.

David Murdoch's all-Scottish rink went into their penultimate round-robin match in the Ice Cube Curling Center with five wins and two defeats, knowing victory over their nearest challengers would secure a medal opportunity.

It was win or bust for Norway, but they kept their hopes alive as they came through a tight contest with the final stone of the final end.

GB conceded a 2-0 second-end lead to play catch-up for most of the game, but levelled the score at 6-6 with the hammer in the ninth.

However, Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud held his nerve with a straightforward takeout with the final stone of the contest to clinch a vital victory for his rink.

It means GB's last fixture against China is now possibly crucial, with Norway - who have two games remaining against Switzerland and Denmark - still a threat.

Britain could fail to beat China and still get a play-off spot should Norway falter twice, although a win for Murdoch's men would guarantee a play-off spot at least.

The Scot admits he is going about winning an Olympic medal at the third time of asking "the hardest way possible", but remains positive.

"It is still in our own hands, we can't let that defeat affect us too much," Murdoch said. "It is still possible. It would have been nice to get that win today and secure that play-off but you have to move on.

"We could have been more clinical today and could have been in front earlier. We had them on the ropes a little bit and never took our chances.

"We have a good record against the Chinese team. Obviously they are playing well, but so are we. We have lost a couple of games only by a few inches and we need to take the positives from that."