Sochi 2014: Great Britain's men defeated in Olympic curling final

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter in Sochi
GB men miss out on curling gold

Great Britain's men's curlers were denied a historic gold medal following a crushing defeat by Canada in Sochi.

Canada completed a hat-trick of victories dating back to the 2006 Turin Games with a dominant 9-3 triumph.

A win for skip David Murdoch's team would have given Britain more than one gold medal at a Winter Olympics for the first time.

Silver means Team GB have won four medals in Sochi, matching their best ever Winter Games haul in 1924.

Sochi 2014: GB men's curlers 'disappointed' but 'proud' after final defeat

It follows Lizzy Yarnold's skeleton gold and bronze medals for snowboard slopestyler Jenny Jones and the women's curling team.

After winning five and losing four of their round robin fixtures, Great Britain's men only made it through to the knock-out phase after coming through a tense play-off against Norway.

Three-time Olympian Murdoch then inspired them to an impressive win over reigning world champions Sweden in Wednesday's semi-finals.

However, the signs were ominous for Britain from the opening end when they found themselves 2-0 down, which became 5-1 after just three ends with Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews and Michael Goodfellow appearing to be suffering from nerves.

The half-time interval break failed to revitalise Britain's fortunes as they slipped 8-2 behind before conceding defeat with two regulation ends remaining and the score at 9-3.

"We just never got off to a good start," said Murdoch. "We were struggling after three, and when you go 5-1 down to a team of that calibre it's extremely difficult to come back.

"I'm disappointed now but a silver medal is scarily cool. I think I'll appreciate it in about 10 minutes!"

His team-mate Andrews added: "We didn't make enough shots, it wasn't to be. We've got a bit more experienced and the future is bright for this team."

It was Team GB's second defeat by the Canadians at the Sochi Games following a 7-5 loss to the defending champions in the round-robin phase.

Prior to the final, Team GB coach Soren Gran had criticised the Canadians for their "aggressive style", but gold medal-winning skip Brad Jacobs said Gran's comments had motivated his team.

"I was a little shocked. I don't know what his thinking was in saying that publicly before the final. I really think that was a big mistake on his part," said Jacobs.

"I really believe in karma and I think that's what you maybe saw out there tonight."

However, finishing second and securing silver was the first medal for the men's team since the sport's debut at the 1924 Chamonix Games.

It also means Team GB have surpassed UK Sport's medal target of three for Sochi 2014.

"It seems really weird saying that we are silver medallists," added Goodfellow.

"The fact that for three of us this is our first Olympics, to come away with a silver medal is amazing."

Earlier in the day Sweden took bronze as they defeated China 6-4 after a sudden-death 11th end.

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