Muirhead back to best before Beijing showdown, warns British Olympic and curling coach Murdoch

European champions Eve Muirhead will travel to Beijing next year after securing their place in the Olympic qualifying event

Curling guru David Murdoch has warned British rivals not to underestimate Eve Muirhead’s powers of resilience as the women of Team GB prepare for next month’s Winter Olympic showdown, writes Will Jennings.

British Olympic and curling head coach Murdoch, captain of the Sochi 2014 silver-winning team alongside bronze-medalist female captain Muirhead, will lead the ace of Stirling and her five-man squad in the Battle of Beijing in just over four weeks.

Muirhead, Vicky Wright, Jennifer Dodds, Hailey Duff and Mili Smith were crowned European Champions in Lillehammer last month before surviving a stunt in an Olympic qualifying event in the Netherlands to ultimately secure their places in the plane.

Three-time World Championships medalist Muirhead, 31, did not qualify for the competition in 2018 and 2019, but Murdoch says she is back at full speed as she aims for a second Olympic gong.

The 43-year-old, who is also a two-time world champion, said: “Because of Eve’s previous experience and what she’s accomplished, everyone has always had her on the radar.

“Over the past couple of years it might not be where she wanted it to be, but certainly not with the results we’ve seen recently.

“If you look at the results we had at the Europeans, we beat the Olympic champions and the world champions, which means we’re here to play now. We’re in a very good position with that.

“There’s a tremendous amount of experience with Eve at the helm – she’s been there, done that and has an Olympic medal.

“The girls on the team are super hungry for this – they are very balanced, have done the hard work and hard yards and are going in the right direction.

“If we go back over the last few months and look at what they’ve accomplished, they’re training in such a great direction and have had so many tournament wins now.

“I really like where we are right now – and I hope we can deliver.”

The Muirhead team represents five of the more than 1,000 athletes able to train full-time, have access to the best coaches in the world, and benefit from cutting-edge technology, scientific and medical support through funding. vital of the national lottery.

The support helped them achieve European glory in Norway last month before Turkey’s agonizing triumph over Japan in the Netherlands – after the Scots claimed five tour victories – officially secured their place in the Chinese capital.

The women of the GB team will be joined by the men’s team of Bruce Mouat, who was also crowned King of Europe at Lillehammer by beating Sweden in the final.

Skip Mouat and Dodds will also compete in the mixed doubles event and Coach Murdoch, whose silver in 2014 is one of more than 1,000 medals won by UK athletes since the advent of national lottery funding. in elite sport in 1997, added, “It would be epic. if we came back with three medals.

“The fact that we have three capable teams is important, and as a head coach, what I liked the most is that we have three teams that are not only there, but really capable.

“Whether that happens, we’ll see – there are a lot of hours on the ice, pressure and rocks to play before that.

“It’s the Olympics – everyone has trained so hard and everyone is in great shape.

“A little mistake and a few millimeters here or there can be the difference between winning or losing.

“We have to be on point, we have to be ready and we have to be ready for every game.”

No one does more to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes than the national lottery players, who raise over £ 30million every week for good causes including grassroots and elite sport. Discover the positive impact of playing the national lottery at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved using the hashtag: #TNLAthletes

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