It’s all about Eve as curlers face the stones of destiny

Great Britain skip Eve Muirhead
Great Britain skip Eve Muirhead
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It’s all about Eve as Great Britain’s search for a record fifth Winter Olympic medal comes down to today’s women’s curling semi-final.

Four medals so far at these Games equal the previous best performance in Chamonix 1924 and four years ago in Sochi.

But UK Sport funding bosses are looking for five podium places as a return for their £28 million investment.

And that puts the pressure firmly on Muirhead, whose rink, including Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Lauren Gray, take on Sweden this morning for a shot at gold this weekend.

Memories of four years ago – when they lost a last-four match to Canada – are burned in the Scot’s memory, though tears later turned to cheers when she took bronze.

“That was the worst loss of my career, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with in curling,” said Muirhead.

“Even though we won the bronze medal after that it took me a long time to get over because I felt we were so close to winning that gold medal.

“I do believe you learn more about yourselves in these situations and become stronger for it. I’ve played three Olympics now, that experience is in the bank. I know I’ve been there and I know what it will feel like.”

In contrast, Swedish skip Anna Hasselborg is making her Olympic debut here and she has history with Muirhead in recent months.

The Scot beat her to win bronze at last year’s World Championship and again to win the European title in December.

Meanwhile, Kyle Smith will learn the lessons of his Olympic curling disappointment and come back stronger in four years’ time.

The British skip was downbeat after losing 9-5 to Switzerland in a play-off tiebreaker, meaning he finishes fifth on his Olympic debut and just fails to make the semi-finals.

• Can Eve Muirhead win Britain’s fifth medal? Watch her curling semi-final live on Eurosport 2 at 11am Friday. Don’t miss a moment of the Olympic Winter Games at Eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app