sport

Murdoch hoping to seize chance

David Murdoch feels he finally has the curling gods on his side as he bids to cap his glittering career with an Olympic gold medal on Friday.

The Lockerbie 35-year-old will lead his team into the final against Canada after completing 10 pulsating ends of action by sliding a nerveless final stone to beat reigning world champions Sweden 7-6 on Wednesday.

It was the second consecutive game in which Murdoch has come up with the goods after an astonishing last-gasp take out to score the two points required to overcome Norway in the round-robin play-off.

And it suggested his fortunes might have changed after the terrible bad luck which blighted his two previous Winter Games in Turin and Vancouver - not to mention a shoulder injury that almost ended his career.

Murdoch said: "I want the gold, there's no doubt about that.

"You get this opportunity once in a lifetime and it's up to us to really seize the day, and if we do that we are Olympic champions and that's incredible history.

"I'm delighted to be in the final and delighted to get the medal that I have chased for so long, but we want the gold and we'll be pushing everything to get that.

"I hope it's our time. The curling gods have been looking down on me nicely this week and it makes a change."

Murdoch admitted there were times he thought he would never make a third Olympics after going home from Vancouver on the back of another nail-biting play-off defeat.

His long-term team-mates drifted towards retirement and to compound Murdoch's woes he was forced to undergo surgery on a shoulder injury that threatened to end his career.

Murdoch said: "After Vancouver I thought that was it.

"I didn't think I'd ever get back. You don't get the chances very often to go to an Olympics. I thought Turin and Vancouver had been my chance.

"I was off the boil and I had a really bad shoulder injury. I thought that was me gone. It required a lot of reconstruction but I pushed through and credit to my coach Soren Gran who changed the course of my life and made me practice harder than I have ever done."

Murdoch did not play like a man burdened by the weight of two previous Olympic failures.

Against a team captained by Nicklas Edin who had compiled an 8-1 group stage record, he seized an early advantage when an attempted double take-out by the Swede failed and gifted the Scots a stolen end.

Edin showed more nerves in the sixth end when he missed a potential triple take-out which would have put him 5-2 up and potentially changed the course of the match.

Instead, the Swedes edged a one-shot lead into the last and set up a virtual winning shot for Edin, who once again missed by millimetres allowing Murdoch the chance to keep his nerve and put his team in the final.

Earlier in the day, the prospect of double gold for GB in curling was scuppered when the women's team lost 6-4 to Canada in their semi-final tie.

Skip Eve Muirhead rued her lack of fortune after a stray brush hair contributed to a poor start from which they never really recovered.

Muirhead missed a take-out after her stone deviated on the ice after going over the bit of debris, which allowed the Canadians to grab a two-shot lead.

GB will take on Switzerland for the Olympic bronze medal on Thursday.