Downhill racer Alcott refuses to be led astray on Valentine's Day

On the eve of her big day, the British downhill skier Chemmy Alcott improved her position to 19th place after her final training run yesterday and then insisted that she intended to ignore Valentine's Day in her unlikely quest for a medal and fully focus on today's competition at San Sicario Fraiteve.

The 23-year-old from Twickenham said: "No boys in my room tonight - I need to stay focused. The first and second day I was good, but today I was terrible but faster."

Another Briton to impress was Rhona Martin, who demonstrated that she has lost none of the composure and sureness of touch that helped Britain earn curling gold four years ago as she pressured a strong Swiss team into a 5-4 defeat in the second of the round-robin matches.

Having defeated Denmark 3-2 on day one, the British quartet of Martin, Jacqui Lockhart, Kelly Wood and Lynn Cameron came through a tight match, despite the fact that Switzerland held the "hammer" - the advantage of launching the final stone - in the last of the 10 ends.

Two mistakes by the Swiss skip, Mirjam Ott, the only player remaining from the side which lost to Britain in the Salt Lake final, allowed Martin to score the decisive point. The British team were trailing 4-3 in the eighth end, but an outstanding draw from Martin levelled the match as her final stone nestled in the centre of the house, surrounded by four Swiss stones that no longer scored.

Martin's team will need to be at the top of their game again today as they take on the world champions, Sweden, who defeated the perennially strong Canadian team on Monday. They will have taken heart, however, from the Swedes' surprise 10-3 defeat by Norway yesterday.

Britain's men, who won both their opening-day matches, against the hosts, Italy, and New Zealand, face more challenging opposition this morning in Canada, the Olympic silver medallists of 2002. David Murdoch's team will then regroup for an evening match against the defending champions, Norway, who were beaten by an unheralded United States team in the first match of the competition.

Britain's Noel Baxter finished 36th in the downhill element of the combined downhill, with two slalom runs to go. The opening race was won by the American Bode Miller, who was then disqualified after straddling a gate in the first run. Miller finished fifth in the main downhill event on Sunday and was later rumoured to have been in a bar on Saturday night. Maybe his lifestyle is catching up with him.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Johnny Depp no longer cares if people criticise his movie flops
films
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'
TVGrace Dent thinks we should learn to 'hug a Hooray Henry', because poshness is an accident of birth
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
art

Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

Arts and Entertainment
Convicted art fraudster John Myatt
art

News
The two-year-old said she cut off her fringe because it was getting in her eyes
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game