Scots curlers reach play-offs and seal GB Olympic spot

Two strong wins by Eve Muirhead's Scotland at the CPT World Women's Curling Championship here in Beijing have put them into tomorrow's page play-off and kept their medal hopes alive.

Eve Muirhead in action during Scotland's win over Germany at the World Women's Championship in Beijing. Picture: Celine Stucki/WCF

Not only that, their final ranking of at least fourth has secured a place for a Great Britain team in the line-up for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea.

The Scots’ first game yesterday was against Germany and, with the last stone of the ninth end, Muirhead hit out a German stone for three shots to win 7-2.

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Later, in the evening session, the Scots faced the Czech Republic, with both teams still in with a chance of grabbing fourth place and making the play-offs.

It was the Scots who delivered the first blow, taking a single shot from the first end. The Czechs levelled with one in the second end and then, after blanking the third, the Scots scored a two in the fourth end for a 3-1 lead. This could have been a three but Muirhead came up short with her final draw.

The Czech skip Anna Kubeskova, who had good draw weight all game, drew nicely in the fifth end to score two and level the score at 5-5. In the sixth end, Muirhead just feathered a Czech stone on the way in with her final stone, but even at that, the Scots still scored one point to take a 4-3 lead, but only after an umpire’s measure.

In the seventh end, Kubeskova played another well-judged draw right onto the button to score two points and take the lead at 5-4.

The teams swapped good final draws for a point each in the eighth and ninth ends and eventually, Muirhead took out a Czech stone at the back of the house with her own final effort of the tenth end, to score the two points that gave her team a 7-6 win and let them grab the fourth play-off slot.

The Scots now face Sweden in tomorrow’s page 3-4 play-off game. Russia beat China by 6-4, putting them through to the page 1-2 game for the first time against unbeaten Canada this evening.

After the vital win over the Czechs, Muirhead said: “That was a good game, [Kubeskova] played some cracking draws to keep them in the game.

“We were patient, which was key out there. The ice was tricky – the trickiest it’s been, but we adapted to it pretty quickly. We were at the stage that win, win, win was what we had to do. Our first goal was to make the play-offs and we’ve ticked that box. Our next goal is to make the semi-final and onwards from there.”

Reflecting on the fact her team now have a day off, Muirhead added: “To be fair, it’s been a long week and a wee bit of rest won’t do us any harm.”