Winter Youth Olympics: GB curlers fail to qualify

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter in Innsbruck, Austria
Great Britain's curling team
Great Britain's poor early form cost them a place in the knock-out stages

The Great Britain curling team failed to reach the knock-out phase at the Winter Youth Olympics, despite two victories in Innsbruck, Austria.

They defeated Russia 7-5 in the morning session before producing a masterclass against the host nation in their final group game, which they won 9-1.

"We struggled in the first half of the competition," GB curler Tom Muirhead told BBC Sport.

"We had a few poor games at the start and were a little unlucky in a few."

Thought to be amongst the team's better medal hopes at the Games, Great Britain lost four successive matches before defeating Italy on Monday afternoon, but their turn in form came too late.

"I've learnt to take more time on the shots," said skip Duncan Menzies. "To begin with, I was just selecting shots straight away and thinking nothing about it, then realising after maybe I should have played a different one."

Their team leader Brad Askew, who ahead of the competition said his players were 'looking at gold', admitted that he had not explained the complex set of results required for GB to force a play-off.

"I don't like it when it's in someone else's hands and I didn't tell the team," Askew told BBC Sport.

"We knew how Russia had to play these two games but, if you tell them about the other matches, then they lose focus on their own game, but it didn't go our way in the end.

"A huge part of why we are here is to develop these guys for the future."

"Sochi [Russia in 2014] is too early, but in 2018 they will have lived in a village, they'll be used to this and will have gained an education.

"It's great to win a medal but more valuable coming out of this is the experience itself."

Over on the ice, Team GB pair Millie Paterson and Edward Carstairs overcame a technical glitch, which saw their music cut out mid-routine, to finish with 71 points.

"You've just got to get on with it," said Paterson. "You can't stop and make a big deal of it."