Winter Olympics: Mixed fortunes on Monday for GB's curling teams in Sochi

Last Updated: 17/02/14 7:10pm

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Great Britain's women's curling team assured themselves of a place in the semi-finals despite losing to Denmark on an extra end, while the men face a nervy play-off for the last four after losing out to China.

With Canada and Sweden already qualified for the semi-finals, Eve Muirhead's all-Scottish rink also made the final four after a tension-filled 9-6 win over host nation Russia proved to be enough.

They still wanted to win their final round-robin clash with Denmark on Monday night to avoid Canada in the semis, but they lost with Muirhead unable to make use of the last stone on an extra 11th end.

The Brits actually held a 7-4 lead going into the 10th and final end, but they allowed Denmark to pinch three to force the contest into an extra 11th end.

After a timeout for each side, Denmark sat with the stone advantage but Muirhead had the chance to win it for GB, but failed to get the right connection and that meant that her rink finished in fourth overall.

That means they will face the all-conquering Canadians, who finished unbeaten after the round robin stage, while Sweden will take on Switzerland in the other semi-final.

"We came out here to make the top four and we're super happy. We didn't finish the game the way we would have liked but we'll move on," said Muirhead. "We played well but had a slack couple of last ends but we'd rather it happen in that match than on Wednesday.

"After our first couple of games I would have taken a semi-final slot, you can't complain about the semi-finals of the Olympics."

Tough game

Unbeaten Canada and their in-form skip Jennifer Jones now stand between Muirhead's team and the gold medal match, and she says she will enjoy the occasion despite the pressure.

"We play Jennifer a lot on tour and it's always a close game against her," Muirhead added. "I know the whole of Britain is behind us and hopefully we can do them proud.

"It's my first Olympic semi-final and Jennifer has never been to an Olympic Games. There is a lot riding on it but we'll relax and enjoy it and try to not get too uptight. It doesn't matter who we play at this stage of the tournament.

"I like playing under pressure, I'm a super competitive person and I like this stage and, at past tournaments, these are the matches when we've really stepped up our game."

Men's play-off

Meanwhile, David Murdoch's team missed the chance to secure a place in the semi-finals after going down against the impressive Chinese outfit who guaranteed their own spot in the last four with victory.

Things could have been worse, though, as Norway's loss to Denmark ensured that GB's hopes of reaching the last four remain intact - Norway would have advanced with a win but will now play a tie-breaker against Britain on Tuesday morning.

The momentum during a tight encounter swung decisively towards the Chinese during the eighth end when Murdoch missed a relatively straightforward draw to allow his opponents a steal and a two-point lead.

GB retrieved two points in the next to square the match, but Chinese skip Rui Liu made the hammer tell in the final end to clinch a narrow win and leave GB facing a play-off to decide their fate.

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