Britain sets record en route to big win over Japan in curling
SOCHI, Russia — Britain set an Olympic record by stealing five points in one end en route to a 12-3 win over Japan on Friday, securing back-to-back wins for the world champions for the first time at the women’s curling tournament.
The Japanese conceded the game after seven ends because of the large point differential, and the British (3-2) boosted their chances of reaching the semifinals.
China has the same record after needing only eight of the allotted 10 ends to beat South Korea 11-3. Canada (5-0) and Sweden (4-1) are the top two teams and weren’t in action Friday.
Erika Brown’s U.S. rink is all but mathematically out after a 9-2 loss to Denmark left the Americans 1-5. They are tied with the Danes at the bottom of the standings.
No team — men’s or women’s — in the three previous Olympic tournaments featuring a 10-rink lineup has qualified for the playoffs after five losses.
"We’re not going to start crying yet," said the 41-year-old Brown, who is competing in her third and likely final Olympics. "We’re going to think about all the things we did to get here."
It has been a chastening campaign for the United States, who conceded an Olympic-record seven points in one end during a 12-3 loss to Britain on Tuesday.
Russia beat Switzerland 6-3 in the other game in the afternoon session. The Swiss were on top of the standings Tuesday night at 3-0 but have lost three straight.
Britain’s only defeat since that game was a 9-6 loss to Canada — a game that went down to the final stone — and the world champions are building momentum nicely.
The British team — Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton — slid down the ice in unison and, with wide grins, waved to their members of the family in the crowd after Japan decided to end the game.
It was in the seventh game where British broke the women’s steal record, with Japan skip Ayuma Ogasawara coming up short with a draw on the final shot to give her opponent five points.
That has only happened once in men’s Olympic play — Canada achieved the feat against the United States in Nagano, Japan, in 1998.
"Unfortunately, you don’t get any prizes" for breaking records, Sloan said.
"But it is always good and it shows that we are performing well and going in the right direction towards the end of the round-robin," she added.