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'We have dedicated a lot of time to this . . . silver is still super cool'

There was no stone of destiny just weighty disappointment as Canada's curlers proved too strong for David Murdoch's British rink in the men's final. This was certainly not the most one-sided Olympic final in history - Great Britain defeated France 46-6 to win in 1924 - but the Canadians slid almost effortlessly to the gold medal in Sochi.

David Murdoch, right, could not lead Britain to gold. Picture: SNS
David Murdoch, right, could not lead Britain to gold. Picture: SNS

Murdoch got all the luck in the tiebreaker and semi-finals but it deserted the Scot yesterday when it mattered. He spent much of the game shrugging, grimacing and shaking his head as Britain failed to find traction on the ice.

The British rink could not even win with the judges, who instructed lead Michael Goodfellow to replace his shirt with one with his name on the back early in the match. They would go on to lose 9-3.

"It feels like a kick in the teeth right now but once we've recovered I will look at what we've achieved and I'll certainly be very proud," said Murdoch, Britain's skip, whose team still took silver. "I've chased this medal for such a long time but it's always a strange feeling when you lose a final, it takes time to get over not getting the gold.

"However, if you look at the games we've won to make this final and how we've got the nation behind us, it's just really special. We've dedicated a lot of hard years work into this and made a lot of sacrifices and a silver medal is still super cool."

Murdoch was aware that he could not afford any mistakes against Canada's Brad Jacobs. However, Britain faltered in the third end - giving up a three and then allowing their rivals to steal one in the next.

Murdoch would find himself five down after just four ends and facing a heavy defeat against a four-man rink ranked No.1 in the world. "The disappointing thing is the manner of the defeat," added Murdoch. "You don't mind so much to lose when you perform well but we allowed them to dominate.

"We had to force some pressure early and we let them gain confidence. We didn't have a very good third end and that was the game changer. We were in a lot of trouble early on and it was always going to be a Herculean task to get back into it.

"It was tough to deal with and we were just hoping for misses, and against a team playing that well, you won't get lucky. We were going through the motions and just hoping that something could be generated.

"Maybe our adrenaline was pumping too much. It's an Olympic final and we're a young team. We felt confident but it wasn't to be."

Murdoch will return home to Lockerbie, a town which has generated three curling medallists at these Games - Anna Sloan and Claire Hamilton were part of the women's rink which won curling bronze.

He also has plans to take wife Stephanie on a long overdue honeymoon, before turning his thoughts to the prospect of qualifying for a fourth Olympic campaign in Pyeongchang.

Now 35, it is not an optimistic ambition for Murdoch. After all, Canadian skip Kevin Martin was 43 when he won Olympic gold in Vancouver four years ago. "Maybe this is the start of something special for this team," added the Britain skip. "I still have that desire to compete at an Olympic Games, now I've had the silver maybe I should come back and try for a gold."

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