Winter Olympics: Capital curlers Bruce Mouat and Jennifer Dodds ready to fight fire with fire after falling to first defeat
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The Edinburgh pair lived up to their billing as gold medal favourites by seeing off world bronze medallists Sweden and reigning Olympic champions Canada in their first two matches, but 2018 silver medallists Switzerland proved a step too far.
Just as in the 6-4 Canada success, the crucial draw shot came down to Dodds but she narrowly missed the mark to hand the Swiss an 8-7 victory at the Ice Cube.
Mouat said: “That was a tough game for me personally, I think I struggled a wee bit more than I had done in the first two games. Taking two wins from the first three games, especially with the teams that we started with, we are very happy with.
“So we are just trying to remain positive even though we’ve just had a tough loss.
"We knew we were going to have to come out and play really well against them and to be honest, I think we are just going to have to face the fact that every team that we are playing here is going to throw everything at us and we are going to have to do the same to them."
Friends since childhood, Dodds and Mouat are world champions and favourites for gold and it is showing, both in their own play and that of opponents at the repurposed Aquatics Centre in the Chinese capital.
Switzerland's Jenny Perret and Martin Rios were determined to peg the Scottish pair back from the start and prevent them from pulling away, opening up a 6-3 lead at the halfway point.
Dodds and Mouat used their powerplay, allowing them to position their opening stones in the wide areas of the house, to good effect, scoring three in the seventh to make it 7-7 before Dodds was narrowly unable to land the last.
“That last shot I just didn’t give it as much release as I wanted," she said. "Bruce tried his hardest but it just came up a wee bit short.“It showed that even if we are down in a game, we can really grind it out and a game is never finished until the last stone.”
Mouat and Dodds face Olympic curling debutants Australia at 05:35 GMT on Friday, before the opening ceremony marks the symbolic start of the Games later in the day.
All 10 teams play each other in the group stage, with the top four securing a semi-final plans and the chance to play for a medal.
“We will still need to bring a high level of performance," said Dodds. "Australia are a good team, we played them at the worlds last year and they qualified in December and they played really well.
“I haven’t seen much of their games, but I think the games they have been playing have still been pretty tight.
“The 0-3 record could have looked very different for them but tomorrow we just need to go out and play how we know we can play."
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