Russian women give home crowd cause to cheer in the curling
Russia secured a crowd-pleasing 7-4 win over Denmark as the women's round-robin programme got under way on Monday afternoon in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games curling competition, being held in the Ice Cube Curling Centre.
Russia then scored two points in the ninth end as skip Anna Sidorova drew into a crowded house. They then stole a single point in the tenth end to seal their win.
After the game, Sidorova said: “I am glad that we won today. From the psychological side, after two disappointments at the European and World Championships, we had to win this game to give us confidence for the rest of the tournament.”
World champions falter
Great Britain's reigning world champions went down by 4-6 to Sweden in their opening game.
Skip Eve Muirhead found herself facing four Swedish counters as she played her last stone in the third end. Her final hit and roll managed to limit the damage to just a steal of two points.
After this, the tide turned as Britain scored single points in each of the next three ends to level the score at 3-3.
However, in the seventh end Sweden scored two points to re-take the lead. The teams then swapped single points in the eighth and ninth ends to give Sweden a 6-4 lead as they played the tenth end. Eventually Britain conceded the game before Muirhead played her last stone in this end.
After their win, Sweden skip, Margaretha Sigfridsson, said: “It’s always nice to start with a win. The important thing is to always play a really good and really tight game against Great Britain – that’s the main thing.
“Every win is nice though and especially against the top teams. Of course this is a boost for our confidence, but we need to work on a few little things and get better as the week goes on.”
Canada and Switzerland off to a winning start
Canada's Jennifer Jones started her first Olympic Winter Games with a comfortable win as her team beat China by 9-2.
After blanking the opening end, Canada opened the scoring with two points in the second end, and followed that up with a steal of one point in the third end for a 3-0 lead.
In the fifth end a double take-out by Jones gave Canada three points and a 6-1 lead. China could only score one point in the sixth end, but then Canada scored three more points in the seventh end for a 9-2 scoreline, at which point China conceded.
Afterwards, Jones said: “I was very proud of the girls, I thought they played really well. They just came out right from the first rock and really made my job easy today. But we'll just have to keep getting better.”
The Americans were on top in the early ends, stealing single points in both the first and third ends, but Switzerland scored three points in the fourth end to take a 3-2 lead. They then stole two points in the fifth end to move their lead on to 5-2.
Switzerland scored a further two points in the eighth end for a 7-3 lead. The USA could only score one point in the ninth end and then ran out of stones in the tenth end, as Switzerland completed their victory.
Swiss skip Mirjam Ott was delighted to start with a win but saw room for improvement: “The conditions were very good today. We are very happy with our performance in the first game, but we know that we can improve a lot.”