Great Britain’s men’s curling team made a winning start to their Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics campaign as they saw off hosts Russia 7-4 this morning.
David Murdoch’s rink of Scots went in front in the second end of the round-robin fixture, opening up a 2-0 lead, before the Russians – cheered on by a vociferous crowd at the Ice Cube Curling Center – pulled one back in the fifth.
GB responded by surging 6-1 ahead in the following end, and although their opponents reduced the deficit, they were unable to save themselves from losing a contest in which skip Murdoch had 100 per cent accuracy.
Murdoch, appearing at his third Olympic Games, claimed the cheering home fans did the Russian rink no favours.
He said: “It probably wasn’t the noisiest – playing in Vancouver (2010) and Turin (2006), you kind of expect that.
“The different thing you will find here is the cheering when you are playing, and actually it might have been to Russia’s detriment that they were actually cheering when they were sliding out. That is the complete opposite of what you want.
“But I am delighted, obviously. That first game can always be a slip-up. You never know how the ice can be and how a team can play against you.
“The fact that we played extremely well and got used to the ice quickly has given us a huge confidence boost and that is the way you want to start an Olympic Games.”
GB’s next fixture is tonight’s clash with world champions Sweden, who got their campaign under way with a 7-5 victory over Switzerland.
Murdoch said: “We will see if we can take that momentum into tonight. Niklas Eden and the guys are world champions, they had a win as well so it will be a tough game.
“We will have a bit of a nap, refuel and come back tonight firing.”