Curlers’ agony not fair play

Eve Muirhead is a picture of concentration during the Women's Round Robin Session 1 match with the OAR. Picture: PA
Eve Muirhead is a picture of concentration during the Women's Round Robin Session 1 match with the OAR. Picture: PA
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It was a decision that baffled and infuriated supporters and almost certainly cost Team GB a Winter Olympic gold,

Great Britain’s women’s curling team lost to Sweden in a final rocked by a single, deeply controversial decision. With the game running into an extra end, GB Skip Eve Muirhead was ruled not to have released her final stone before the hotline. With the GB stone void, the Swedes went on to win. A chip inside the stone detected a foul yet TV replays cast doubt on that.

The use of tracking chips inside curling stones was supposed to remove all doubt over such decisions but this prompts the question of whether video playback is required as well. There is, of course, something reassuringly familiar to the result of the women’s curling final. That story of defeat seized from the jaws of victory is in our DNA.

But it will have been devastating for Muirhead and her team whose world-beating skills were fully on display until that final, game-changing ruling. For their sake - and in the name of fair play - whatever technology can be used to support referees’ decision should be used.