Winter Olympics: Team GB curling pair set up Norway semi-final with USA win

Curlers Bruce Mouat and Jen Dodds
Bruce Mouat and Jen Dodds finished with a record of six wins and three defeats in the round-robin phase
Hosts: Beijing, China Dates: 4-20 February
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Great Britain’s curling mixed doubles pair beat the USA 8-4 in their final group match as they warmed up for their Winter Olympics semi-final.

Bruce Mouat and Jen Dodds had already booked their place in the last four despite Sunday’s loss to Norway.

The GB side will face the Norwegians again in the semi-final, while Italy take on Sweden in the other match.

A win in that tie would guarantee at least a silver medal for the Scottish pair.

“It was our best team performance of the week and exactly the way we want to go into the semi-finals,” Mouat said.

“We put a lot of stones in good spots to put them under pressure. Our draw weight was on point which is exactly what you need in mixed doubles.”

Playing for Scotland, Mouat and Dodds beat Norway in the final of the World Championships last year, but came up short on Sunday, losing 6-2 in their round-robin meeting.

“We didn’t play our best against them last night but we can take a lot of confidence from that [USA] performance,” Dodds added.

“It’s going to be a battle out there. If we go out and play like we did there, that’s all we can ask for. If you’d said at the start of the week we’d get through to the play-offs, I’d have taken that in a heartbeat.”

With the pressure slightly off after Sunday’s results saw them safely through, Mouat and Dodds made a great start to take three in the first end after a wayward shot by American Christopher Plys.

They extended their lead to 5-1 before the USA responded by taking two on their powerplay and single in the sixth end to cut the gap to one.

A well-executed double take out by Vicky Persinger restricted Britain to just one on their own power play in the penultimate end, and set up a close finish in the last.

Persinger then had the last stone of the match to try and score two but her shot caught Britain’s guard and handed them two points for an 8-4 win.

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