David Melrose taken to hospital after fall as curlers crash out at Paralympics

Tests revealed Paralympics GB’s Melrose had a torn rotator cuff

Great Britain crashed out out of the Paralympics curling competition at the Ice Cube (Dita Alangkara/AP)
Great Britain crashed out out of the Paralympics curling competition at the Ice Cube (Dita Alangkara/AP)

David Melrose was stretchered to hospital with a shoulder injury as Great Britain’s curlers crashed out of the Winter Paralympics on a dramatic day at the Ice Cube in Beijing.

Melrose suffered a freak injury falling from his wheelchair midway through his team’s first match on Wednesday against Canada, with subsequent tests revealing a torn rotator cuff.

Britain went on to lose the match 6-3 and a subsequent 8-6 loss to South Korea means they cannot now reach the semi-finals at the end of the round-robin phase.

Melrose’s injury sparked concern in the venue as he he was given treatment there before being transferred to a local hospital along with members of the Paralympics GB medical staff.

Paralympics GB later tweeted: “@DavidMelrose10 has now left hospital and returned to the athlete accommodation following scans which show a rotator cuff injury. He’ll continue to receive the medical support he requires, and all of us wish him well in his recovery.”

Melrose was replaced by Gary Smith but the team, also including skip Hugh Nibloe, Gregor Ewan and Meggan Dawson-Farrell, failed to maintain their momentum with their first defeat taking them into a crucial clash with the Koreans.

But they could not get a foothold in the match as their opponents established a 5-1 lead after three ends and ultimately fell to what Nibloe described as a “disappointing” defeat.

Other teams have played together for years and years. Other teams have punished us and we have not been as clinical in punishing them.

GB curling skip Hugh Nibloe

“It’s not what we came here for, to finish up so early,” said Nibloe.

“We are quite a young team, with three players at their first Paralympics. Other teams have played together for years and years. Other teams have punished us and we have not been as clinical in punishing them.

“I thought we were well prepared coming out, we did a good camp – maybe as a young team, not having the opportunity to travel and get the games under our belts perhaps didn’t help us.

“Inconsistency has really bit us this week and I don’t think we ever had all four players playing well together.”

Hope Gordon became Great Britain’s first para-Nordic skier as she finished 17th in qualifying for the women’s sprint, while Callum Deboys and Steve Thomas placed 22nd and 25th to also miss out on progression to the semi-finals.

Gordon, who will also compete in the 7.5km race on Saturday, said she was pleased with her performance, having only taken up the sport six months ago.

“I’m just happy to have got round it in one piece,” said Gordon.

“I would definitely have liked a little bit more but equally I’m quite realistic with my expectations and this morning I told myself ‘I’m not going to be too hard on myself’ and I’m going to try and stick to that.”

China’s Yang Hongqiong took gold in the event, edging out Oksana Masters of the United States.

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