Curling: Scotland’s teams top of the tree

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AFTER yesterday’s concluding round-robin games at the World Junior Curling Championships in Sochi, Russia, both of Scotland’s teams emerged on top of their rankings and go into the play-off section of the Championships in top shape.

The Scottish women had already assured themselves of top spot before they came onto the ice to face Japan, and perhaps that made them relax, as they went down by 6-8 to give up their unbeaten record.

Afterwards, Hannah Fleming said: “We didn’t feel much different, we still wanted to keep our record as good as it has been. It’s maybe a blessing in disguise – it’ll give us the kick that we need.”

Japan and Scotland will now face each other again, in curling’s Page 1 v 2 play-off game tomorrow morning. The winner of that goes to the final, while the loser plays a semi-final against Czech Republic, Denmark, Russia or Sweden, who are all tied for third place.

The Scottish men beat USA by 8-3 to complete their round-robin programme on eight wins and one loss, in top spot.

Because Canada beat Russia earlier in the round-robin, they rank second overall and now go on to face Scotland in this evening’s Page 1 v 2 play-off, with the winner going direct to Sunday’s gold medal final, and the loser playing tomorrow’s semi-final.