Great Britain’s nervy wait for a medal at Beijing 2022 is over after the men’s curling team booked their spot in Saturday’s final thanks to a 8-4 win over the USA on Thursday.
The team, skippered by Bruce Mouat, will play Sweden on Saturday as they look to secure Britain’s first curling gold since Rhona Martin’s team triumphed at Salt Lake City 2002.
The U.S. took an early lead with a steal of two in the second end, but Team GB took advantage of a John Shuster error to strike back in the next with three. The U.S. then retook the lead with two in the fourth end only for Mouat’s team to take two in the fifth.
The score remained 5-4 to GB through to the ninth when they extended their lead to 6-4 as morale seemed to plummet on the USA side.
Their triumph over the U.S. means they are guaranteed at least a silver, which will bring some relief to Team GB who have so far been without a medal at Beijing 2022.
Having originally targeted between three and five medals at these Olympics, medal hopes like Dave Ryding and Charlotte Bankes all finished outside of the podium spots, raising fears they were going to go without any silverware for the first time at a Winter Games since Albertville 1992.
They excelled in the round robin stage, winning eight of their nine matches.
Their sole loss came against the U.S. back in their second match but since then they powered past the rest of the competition to tee up this semifinal.
Great Britain’s women’s team will be hoping to follow suit when they face Sweden on Friday in their semifinal.
They won five of their nine round robin matches and faced a nervy finish, relying on results elsewhere to seal their spot in the final four.
“This team have got a lot of resilience,” skipper Eve Muirhead said.
“That’s one thing we’ve showed all season. We’ve come from a squad of nine people to a team that have won the Europeans, qualified for the Olympic Games and now have a semifinal spot.
“I don’t think you can turn your back on this team. We’ve shown a lot of character, a lot of grit and determination and we fully deserve the spot.
“As Team GB, you are always proud to have Great Britain on your back, we are glued to the TV any time there is a GB athlete on. We support them from start to finish, I am very proud of how my team have done.
“The boys have done fantastic. I really hope to do Great Britain proud at home.”