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Bronze medal in curling feels as good as gold for veteran Malone

ANGIE Malone is as content with the Winter Paralympic bronze medal she won on Saturday as she was when winning silver the last time Great Britain's wheelchair curlers finished on the podium at the Games.

The 48-year-old won silver in Turin in 2006 and has now followed that with a third-place finish in Sochi.

There is good reason for Malone to revel in her relative success this year since she had been selected merely as an alternate for the British team that competed in Russia. However, she would start on Saturday in the decisive bronze-medal match with China, which her side won 7-3.

Such a comfortable win had seemed unlikely as China took a 3-0 lead after two ends but some excellent shots from skip Aileen Neilson ensured her rink took seven straight points to win. It also allowed the rink comprising Malone, Neilson, Jim Gault, Bob McPherson and Gregor Ewan to get over a 13-4 defeat by Russia in their semi-final earlier in the day.

"We have had a tough week but we had a blast out there and we had a great bronze medal game," said Malone, a veteran of three Winter Paralympics. "We went out there fighting as the Scots do and we are absolutely delighted to take a bronze medal back to Great Britain and Scotland.

"This bronze medal feels like gold. We worked really hard during the Games, we dug deep and this is a gold medal for me. We have won and we have lost over the years, we are used to that. We have a wee bit of disappointment [against Russia] and then we come fighting right back.

"It was absolutely fantastic to be able to go and play that bronze medal game, I was delighted. Everybody played their 'A' game, everybody executed their shots and our game plan was bang on."

That bronze proved to be Britain's last medal of the Games as the skiers faltered as the contest came to a close yesterday. Jade Etherington was denied a medal in her fifth discipline after falling ill, while her fellow visually-impaired skier, Kelly Gallagher, crashed in the giant slalom finale.

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