sport

Sloan itching to get started

Anna Sloan is ready to make practice perfect when Team GB's women's curling team begin their Winter Olympic competition against Sweden.

The 23-year-old from Lockerbie is part of skip Eve Muirhead's highly-rated rink, which includes Vicki Adams, Lauren Gray and Claire Hamilton and who finished their second practice session at the Ice Cube Curling Center on Sunday night.

After weeks and months of build-up to the Games, Sloan just wants the event to get under way, starting with their first round-robin match against the Swedes.

"Yes, there is only so much practising you can do and I think we are ready to get the games started," she told Press Association Sport.

"It is nice to get here to the arena. The team needs to get used to the ice given to them and get to grip with the stones.

"The ice conditions are great for our game and we are looking forward to hopefully doing well."

Muirhead's rink - while playing for Scotland - were crowned world champions last March after beating the Scandinavians 6-5 in Riga.

However, the Swedes beat the Scots in the final of the European Championships last November, which leads Sloan to believe that their chances are finely balanced ahead of their keenly-awaited opener.

She said: "We have to play everyone at some point. Yes, Sweden are tough but it is the Olympic Games and every team we play will be tough.

"It is one each at the moment between us, with the world final showdown and the European final, so we are hoping to go out there and play well enough to win.

"Everyone is expecting us to get a medal, but we are just going to go out there into the round-robin and take it one step at a time. And at the end of the week we will look and see where we are, and if we are in the position to go to the play-offs then it is a whole new ball game.

"We have performed under pressure before, so we will need to keep our routine as simple and play as consistently as we know we can do.

"We know when we play our best we are right up there, but there are no weak teams.

"We know we will have to have a good two weeks but, of course, we would be disappointed without a medal."

Sweden skip Margareta Sigfridsson looks forward to renewing a friendly rivalry with Muirhead's rink.

She told Press Association Sport: "We are two good teams, so there is always going to be a rivalry. But they are always fun games to play in and we enjoy those games.

"We are definitely two of the favourites to win, but there are others like Canada, Switzerland and Russia too, they are the top five teams."