Winter Youth Olympics: Double defeat hits GB curlers' hopes

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter in Innsbruck, Austria

Great Britain's curling team are on the brink of elimination from the Winter Youth Olympics after two defeats.

After an agonising 5-4 loss to Germany, Team GB were beaten 8-2 by traditional rivals Canada on day two of the Games in Innsbruck, Austria.

"It was a tough game. We just didn't seem to hit form and struggled," GB curler Tom Muirhead told BBC Sport.

"The Canadians are good players and took their chances. They weren't letting us get away with anything."

Muirhead, who has seen his team slip to three successive defeats, added: "We're just needing a boost, tomorrow is a clean start, so we'll take it from there."

Team leader Brad Askew, who ahead of the event admitted he would be disappointed if his team did not claim a medal in Austria, tried to remain upbeat about their prospects of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

"It's absolutely still possible, we're had lots of incidences in history," Askew told BBC Sport.

"Tom's sister Eve [who is the senior Scotland and GB skip] had a slow start at the European Championships before coming back and winning gold."

GB are likely to need wins in each of their remaining four matches and face fellow strugglers Italy and surprise package Japan on Monday.

"Even if there's a tie-break we need to get on top of it in these remaining games and we're in it," added Askew.

"All we need to do is qualify and that's still absolutely on the cards."

Over at the halfpipe in Kuhtai, GB skiing champion Katie Summerhayes produced a strong display to finish fifth in the women's freestyle event.

The 16-year-old scored 55.00 in her first run to give her an overall total of 63.00 and although that was 77 behind event winner Elisabeth Gram of Austria, Summerhayes was pleased.

"I said I wanted to come away with a top-five result, so to be able to get that is really pleasing," the skier from Sheffield told BBC Sport.

"It was great that my family, coaches and so many of the other Team GB athletes were here to support me - it was great to come down to the bottom of the pipe and see them waving the flag."

In the men's event Tyler Harding was frustrated after finishing 10th and last in the final.

"Some of the best guys in the world are here, doing massive doubles, 10s and 12s - crazy tricks! If I want to be up there with the best I have to start doing these tricks, so it's inspired me in that way," said Harding.

After a promising performance on day one, snowboarder Lewis Courtier-Jones failed to repeat the magic on Sunday and missed out on a place in the final.

"I'm really annoyed with myself but it happens and there's nothing I can do about it and hopefully in future competitions I can do better," he commented.

GB figure skaters Edward Carstairs and Millie Paterson, who met South Korea's Olympic champion Kim Yu-Na earlier in the week, produced a personal-best performance with a score of 30.70 in their short-dance routine.

Paterson, who will perform a "free routine" with Carstairs on Tuesday, said: "We were really pumped up with the big crowd behind us in this massive stadium.

"We lost it a little bit at the end, but I think we covered it up pretty well and everything else was good."

In the men's 7.5km biathlon sprint Calum Irvine placed 35 out of 50 and will return to action on Monday for the 10km pursuit.

Team GB's Alpine skiers Paul Henderson and Rachelle Rogers endured difficult sessions on the slopes, both failing to finish one of the elements to the Super Combined event, but they will compete again later in the week.

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