GB miss out on gold-medal match

The Bolton News: Great Britain's women's curling team face Switzerland on Thursday Great Britain's women's curling team face Switzerland on Thursday

Great Britain's women's curling team will need to lift themselves for a Winter Olympic bronze-medal battle against Switzerland on Thursday after going down 6-4 against Canada in Wednesday's first women's semi-final in Sochi.

Jennifer Jones' unbeaten rink proved just too strong for GB, who were never in the lead at any time in the Ice Cube Curling Center.

Skip Eve Muirhead got off to a bad start when she missed a take-out after her stone appeared to pick up some debris on the ice, leaving the Canadians two ahead.

Perhaps more significantly, Jones stole one more in the next end to put GB under pressure.

Britain pulled two back and trailed 4-3 at the halfway point but again Canada restored their two-point lead in the sixth end.

Muirhead blanked the seventh end in order to retain the hammer and go for two in the next end.

A misjudged shot by Canada's Jill Officer in the eighth allowed GB an opportunity to restore parity at least but Jones rescued the situation with a great penultimate double take-out shot, leaving Muirhead with little option but to blank the end again and keep their opponents' two-point lead intact.

The sense of British desperation had risen by the start of the ninth end and they could only take one to go into the final end 4-5 down.

And with Jones having the last shot, it was asking a lot for GB to level and, indeed, the Canadian skip slid the last stone in to secure a deserved place in the final.

The British girls were due to face the Swiss in the bronze medal match at 1230 local time on Thursday (0830GMT).

Britain's men were due in action in their semi-final against Sweden at 1900 local time (1500GMT) on Wednesday and it remained to be seen whether they could win their way through to Friday's men's final.

British cross-country skier Andrew Young was forced to withdraw from the men's team sprint classic on Wednesday after a pre-existing heart condition flared up.

Young was taking part in the first semi-final alongside team-mate Andrew Musgrave, but the pair did not finish the race.

While the 22-year-old suffers from tachycardia, where the heart rate exceeds the normal range, and has pulled out of races before, it is a condition that does not trouble the Scot very often.

''It happens two races a year, so now and then it happens and it's happened today,'' said Young, who was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 15.

''(It started to occur) at the start of the second leg.

''It happened in the Norwegian nationals last week (in January) and at the Norwegian nationals last year (2013).''

Also due in action later on Wednesday were figure skater Jenna McCorkell, who was due to compete in the women's short programme at the Iceberg Skating Palace, and Britain's Paula Walker and Bex Wilson in the women's bobsleigh. Walker and Wilson were lying 12th after their first two runs at the Sanki Sliding Center.

Ireland's Conor Lyne crashed out during the first run of the men's giant slalom at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center. Lyne injured his left shoulder in training at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Training Centre on February 8 but was cleared to take part in Wednesday's race.

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