Winter Olympics 2014: Great Britain's women's curling team record second rout with emphatic 12-3 win over Japan

Eve Muirhead's team took an early lead before a five-point steal in the seventh end brought proceedings to an early close

Sochi

There is an inscrutability to Eve Muirhead; win or lose the look remains much the same.

But inside she will have left the ice at the Curling Centre on Friday a happy woman after an emphatic 12-3 win over Japan. It leaves Britain third in the standings and right back on track for a place in next week’s knockout stages.

Her rink arrived here regarded as gold medal contenders, a standing they deserved as world champions, but started poorly with two defeats from their opening three games. Losing to Canada and Sweden, their main rivals, was always a possibility but Muirhead’s stuttering form raised concerns. Now they have three wins and with three to play are well set to finish among the top four and earn a semi-final place. On Saturday they meet Korea and Switzerland.

 

On Frdiay they set a second Olympic record of the week by stealing five – taking points without the advantage of the hammer, the last stone – on the seventh end. Team Muirhead became the first women’s team to achieve that having scored a record seven against the US on Tuesday.

“The momentum has been starting to build and we continued it today,” said Muirhead. “I am happy with the way I played. We just need to continue that.”

The Curling Centre was possibly the coldest Olympic setting on Friday as rising temperatures continued to cause problems for competitors. A number of freestyle skiing training sessions were cancelled and the downhill section of the super combined was moved to earlier in the morning before the temperature rose. It reached 15C today in the Rosa Khutor skiing venues and across the valley the cross-country skiers complained about increasingly slushy conditions. Britain’s Andrew Musgrave raced the 15km classic in shorts and a T-shirt. Germany’s Axel Teichmann said: “I became a winter athlete to do my sport in winter, not in summer.”

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