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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 December 2005, 10:56 GMT
Martin to defend title in Turin
Rhona Martin
Olympic curling champion Martin will skip GB in Turin
Olympic curling champion Rhona Martin will defend her title in February after being named as Great Britain skip for the Turin Games on Thursday.

Martin led Britain's women to gold in Salt Lake City four years ago but a dip in form had put her place in jeopardy.

She will be joined by 2002 team-mate Debbie Knox, as well as Lynn Cameron, Jackie Lockhart and Kelly Wood.

The men's team is David Murdoch (skip), Euan Byers, Ewan MacDonald, Warwick Smith and Craig Wilson.

We all want to reach that medal podium so we'll do anything and work hard together to get there
Rhona Martin

Janice Rankin, another member of the triumphant Salt Lake City team, missed out on a place in the women's quintet after being selected for the final squad.

"The last year was our new selection process - we've been playing as individuals and being watched constantly so we didn't have any idea until this week who they were watching," Martin told BBC Radio Five Live.

"Obviously I'm delighted they've chosen me again."

Martin and ex-world champion Lockhart were former rivals but the Olympic title holder believes the team will unite successfully in Turin.

"We haven't played together a huge amount as yet as a team but we've all got the same goal and we've got a team of great shot players so hopefully it will all gel together," said Martin.

"We all want to reach that medal podium so we'll do anything and work hard together to get there."

The teams' head coach Mike Hay said: "After a tough three-year qualifying period we are happy to be represented by both our men's and women's curling team in Pinerolo.

We believe that both the men's and the women's teams have the potential to be competing in the medal zone
BOA chief Simon Clegg

"Our men's and women's teams have qualified in third and sixth place respectively.

"Our aim is to make the semi-finals in both competitions, this will be a difficult task but myself and the coaches believe it is achievable."

"I am delighted to welcome these athletes into Team GB for the Olympic Winter Games in Turin," said British Olympic Association boss Simon Clegg.

"We believe that both the men's and the women's teams have the potential to be competing in the medal zone next February where the new GB Team selection formula will be tested.

"Entering any tournament as the defending Olympic champions is always tough, and places additional pressures on the athletes.

"I expect both teams to focus over the coming seven weeks and arrive in Turin ready to deliver peak performances."


Women's team: Rhona Martin (Skip), Lynn Cameron, Debbie Knox, Jackie Lockhart, Kelly Wood.

Men's team: David Murdoch (Skip), Euan Byers, Ewan MacDonald, Warwick Smith, Craig Wilson.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: GB women's curling skip Rhona Martin


Feature: Clare Balding's guide to Turin



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