TWIN WINS FOR GB WHEELCHAIR CURLERS GIVE THEM SHARE OF SECOND PLACE
The Paralympics GB curlers strengthened their position on day three of their competition in PyeongChang, effectively leapfrogging the previously unbeaten Canadians as they moved on into joint second place in the standings.
Aileen Neilson’s British rink had beaten Sweden 6-1 earlier in the day to register their third success of the event, while Canada suffered their first defeat to hosts Korea.
The British quartet followed this up with another dominant performance and a comprehensive 8-1 victory against the reigning Paralympic Champions Canada, to claim their fourth win in the round robin phase of the competition at the Gangneung Curling Centre.
Skip Aileen Neilson said afterwards: “It’s been a good day at the office, you can’t ask for much more than two victories so we’re really delighted. We're now at 4-1 which is a really good position to be in. We’re just getting the feel for it more and more, each day we’re reading the ice better, playing the shot better and things are working out, we just want to keep making sure we build on that.
“Any team, if they go out there and play at their best, is going to win the match – we did that against Canada, we played good shots at crucial times and it got us the win.
“We did keep it tight to begin with and that was deliberate, we wanted to see how the ice played, keep as few stones in play as possible and make sure we’re looking after the house.
“You can look at the margin of victory and see it as a lot but it’s not something we focus on too much, this competition is just about getting the wins and making sure we’re taking the performances forward.
“You can learn from losses but we want to be in a position where we’re playing well and winning the game, there is a lot of momentum you can take forward.”
Hugh Nibloe added: “That is what we have been working on all year. We know we’ve got these performances and it was good to back the win over Sweden up with one against Canada. We’ve gone two for two today and that’s important. Canada are a big name and it feels really good to get that one out of the way.
“We were confident coming into today. We thought we could play our best game and we executed well and we were happy with the performance.
“We’ve beaten the biggest curling nation in the world. But there are another five teams out there who have all won medals so we’ve got tough games coming up.
“If we play at that level they are going to have to match it to even get close to us. We’re shooting really well. The others are doing well but to do it consistently is difficult.
“The crowd were brilliant today, it was a brilliant atmosphere and you feed off that and it’s so enjoyable. I saw a few GB supporters up in the stand and at the end I acknowledged them because it’s amazing to have support out here.
Commenting on the support curling is receiving at home as well as in Korea, Nibloe noted: “It’s created a bit of buzz in my home town and people are actually talking about it and watching it and hopefully if we keep performing then more people will tune in and realise how great this sport is and how great the Paralympics is.
ParalympicsGB team have another two game day tomorrow, against Slovakia and the Neutral Paralympics Athletes (NPA).
Aileen Neilson (Strathaven) - 45
Gregor Ewan (Elgin) - 46
Hugh Nibloe (Stranraer) - 35
Robert McPherson (Bellshill) - 49
Angie Malone MBE (Glasgow) – 52
Schedule (GMT) and results:
Saturday 10 March
5.35am GB v Norway 5-2
Sunday 11 March
12.35am GB v Switzerland 4-7
10.35am GB v Finland 9-2
Monday 12 March
5.35am GB v Sweden 6-1
10.35am GB v Canada 8-1
Tuesday 13 March
5.35am GB v Slovakia
10.35am GB v Neutral Paralympic Athletes
Wednesday 14 March
12.35am GB v Germany
5.35am GB v USA
Thursday 15 March
12.35am GB v Korea
10.35am GB v China
Friday 16 March
12.35am Tie breaker (if required)
6.35am Semi finals
Saturday 17 March
12.35am Bronze medal game
5.35am Gold medal game
Photos: WCF – Celine Stucki