Team GB win women's curling gold after emphatic victory in final against Japan

A day after the men's team secured silver, the women went a step further to clinch Team GB's first gold medal of the Winter Olympics.

Eve Muirhead's team required no extra ends in Sunday's final, as they swept to an emphatic 10-3 victory over Japan in Beijing's Ice Cube arena.

Twenty years on from Team GB's last gold in the women's curling - when Rhona Martin stood atop the podium in Salt Lake City - Muirhead and her team have matched their achievements.

It marks a superb comeback from the side's failings last year, when Muirhead and team-mates Vicky Wright, Jennifer Dodds, Hailey Duff and Mili Smith failed to qualify for the Olympics at the World Championships in Calgary.

They eventually booked their slot in the Olympics through the final qualifiers, but a rocky start to the round-robin phase earlier this month left them again on the brink of elimination.

However, after edging their way through to the knock-outs and then narrowly beating Sweden in the semi-finals, they found it a much easier task against Japan in the final.

GB raced to a 4-1 lead early in the match, and Japan failed to bounce back, with Muirhead delivering some superb stones to extend the lead to 8-2.

Japanese skip Satsuki Fujisawa missed a number of opportunities to claw her side back into contention, and Muirhead made sure to punish their mistakes.

After rolling in two in the ninth end to extend the score to 10-3, Fujisawa conceded the match with one end to spare.

Having ended a long wait for Olympic glory, Muirhead was unsurprisingly delighted with her side's victory.

"This is a moment I dreamed of as a young child.

"Having lost two semi-finals then come through that great battle against Sweden, we knew this was an opportunity we might never get again.

"It has definitely been a rollercoaster journey for the whole team. From not finishing the top six at the world championships, we had to come back and it was hard.

"There were times I wanted to throw my shoes in the cupboard and never get them out again. But we all came back and got this new team together and came through the Europeans and the qualifiers.

"There have been ups and downs, there have been a couple of positive tests, but here we are, five very healthy girls with gold medals around our necks."

A jubilant Jennifer Dodds, who missed out on a mixed curling medal earlier in the month, added: "I don't think it is going to sink in for a while. I am so proud of the way these girls played in the final.

"We grew in confidence with every game. Thanks to our family and friends. They know how much this means to us."

READ MORE: Curling silver for Great Britain after Mouat’s men come up short in dramatic extra end

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