Eve Muirhead leads Team GB to curling Olympic qualification but admits she 'couldn't watch'

Perth curler Eve Muirhead and her team qualified directly for February's Winter Olympics following a dramatic conclusion to the round-robin programme at the qualifiers in Leeuwarden, Holland.

Eve Muirhead is going back to the Olympics.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Eve Muirhead is going back to the Olympics. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

The recently-crowned European champion and her colleagues Hailey Duff, Jennifer Dodds and Vicky Wright crushed Italy 8-1 to post their fifth straight win, but leaders Japan were fully expected to claim the one automatic spot for Beijing with Scotland due to face Korea in today's (Friday) play-offs.

News then came through that Japan had suffered a shock 8-5 defeat to Turkey, leaving Muirhead and company top of the round-robin standings and thereby securing their Olympic berth.

“I couldn’t actually watch the Japan game,” Muirhead admitted. “I went to my room because I hate watching. The four other girls watched and phoned me and celebrations began there and then.

“It’s going to take a while to sink in, but to have booked Team GB a place on the flight to Beijing and to have the chance of going back to another Olympic Games is something very, very special.”

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By winning the event the quartet continued an exceptional run that has seen them win all four competitions they have played together, which includes beating both reigning Olympic champions Team Hasselborg and the winners of the last two World Championships, Team Tirinzoni on their way to winning the European Curling Championships a fortnight ago.

“The whole team has performed well, including Mili (Smith), our fifth player, who hasn’t played any games, but has been a huge part of our team,” Muirhead added.

Victory proved doubly sweet as Italy was the only country to beat the Scots at last month's Euros.

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