Wednesday 12 December 2018

Controversy at Winter Olympics as British curling skip Eve Muirhead has crucial final stone voided in bizarre circumstances

Skip Eve Muirhead of Britain shouts. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
Skip Eve Muirhead of Britain shouts. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

Peter Whitfield

Eve Muirhead was "gutted" after her final stone was voided in a 8-6 defeat against Sweden in the round robin phase.

Britain trailed 6-4 going into the ninth end but levelled to take the match to an extra end.

The Swedes had the advantage of the hammer but Muirhead had the chance to make it difficult for them with Britain's final stone.

But the stone was voided, leaving the Swedes the simple task of clinching victory with the hammer.

It was not immediately clear if Muirhead had been penalised for not realising the stone clearly before the red line - known as hog lining - or whether she touched the stone twice leading to her being penalised.

Either way her final stone was taken off the rink leaving the Swedes to wrap up the win with the hammer.

Muirhead told BBC Sport: "The red light came on so that's counted as a hogged rock, so that has to be taken off.

"When you see the replays in the stadium it looks like it was. It's hard to take and it comes down to inches and millimetres.

"It's the first stone I have ever hogged in my life and when it comes at a time like that.

"We have had the stone tested and it's fine so there's nothing we can do, we have to move on.

"It's the story of our week so far. When something like that happens it makes it very tough to take and it's gutting that it finished that way."

Coach Glenn Howard added: "I've only seen one replay and it looks like Eve has let go of the rock prior to the hog line and the light went off.

"It's a horrible way to finish the game. I've never witnessed Eve Muirhead have a hog line violation ever."

The defeat leaves Eve Muirhead's rink with three wins out of six so far with three more round robin matches to come - against Switzerland on Monday, Japan on Tuesday and Canada on Wednesday. The top four sides qualify for the semi-finals.

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport