Winter Olympics: Great Britain's women lose to Japan in bronze-medal match

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GB women's curlers beaten by Japan in bronze-medal match
XXIII Olympic Winter Games
Venue: Pyeongchang, South Korea Dates: 9-25 February
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app. Full coverage times

Great Britain's women curlers missed out on a second successive Olympic bronze medal as they lost 5-3 to Japan on Saturday.

Eve Muirhead's team, who finished third in Sochi four years ago, were hoping to increase Britain's record medal haul at a Winter Games to six in Pyeongchang.

They led three times in the bronze-medal match, before Japan fought back to earn their first medal in the sport.

Sweden face hosts South Korea in the gold-medal match on Sunday.

At 4-3 with the last shot of the match, skip Muirhead had a chance to either level and take the match to an extra end, or go for the two scores that would have earned Britain bronze.

But the Scot misjudged her effort and Japan took the final point.

"I am absolutely devastated," Muirhead told BBC Sport. "I am gutted. Gutted for myself, for my team, for everyone that's helped us on the journey.

"The shot was there and of course we went for it. We went out to get that end and, as a skip, it's hard when you miss the last shot.

"It was a very patient and simple game. We had control in the last end - we had the hammer - but unfortunately it didn't turn out.

"It's going to take time to sink in because it's difficult when you don't make that last shot - that is what you practise day in, day out."

'It's hard to go home with nothing'

GB edged into a 3-2 lead after the fifth end in Gangnueng, but that was how it stayed in a tense and nervy match until the eighth when Japanese skip Satsuki Fujisawa levelled.

Japan added another score in the ninth, and the British team of Muirhead, vice-skip Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Lauren Gray were unable to overturn that deficit in the final end.

UK Sport predicted a total of between four and 10 GB medals at the Games, but set a target of at least five after more than doubling funding for this Olympic and Paralympic cycle to more than £32m.

Earlier, snowboarder Billy Morgan took big air bronze to bring Britain to that medal target.

Morgan's podium finish followed medals for skelton sliders Lizzy Yarnold, Laura Deas and Dom Parsons and slopestyle skier Izzy Atkin, as Britain surpassed their previous best of four won at Sochi 2014 and Chamonix 1924.

But Muirhead was disappointed the women's curling team could not add to that tally.

"I am sad we couldn't do it for Team GB," she added. "I am glad we have made that medal target, but unfortunately we didn't add to it.

"I am really proud of these girls, and it's hard to say we are going home with nothing."

'It's such a brutal moment' - analysis

David Murdoch, Olympic silver medallist curler on BBC TV

It's an absolutely brutal end to the Olympics for GB. It's a shot Eve Muirhead would make 99 times out of 100, but she throws it too hard and too wide.

It's the ultimate price for playing the risk - but it is 100% the right shot to go for. You can't come away from an Olympics with a shot to win a medal and say you didn't play it.

It's such a brutal moment, and so very difficult to talk about for the girls. It's great to hear that they are coming back - and they have the courage to keep going. I'd definitely say Eve Muirhead will be back.

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