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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Friday, 5 April, 2002, 12:08 GMT 13:08 UK
Scots aim for more glory
Scottish curling champion Jackie Lockhart
Jackie Lockhart's rink represents Scotland
Mike Haggerty reports from the World Curling Championships in Bismarck, North Dakota, USA as the two Scottish teams seek to add to this year's medals.

The last act in a remarkable season for curling unfolds in the coming days, when the World Curling Championships get underway in Bismarck, North Dakota, with every possibility that the two Scottish teams involved can add to the season's medal haul.

Earlier this month, Kenneth Edwards from Lockerbie took bronze for Scotland at the World Junior Championships.

But, of course, before that, in the campaign that knocked the regular sporting giants off the back pages, Rhona Martin delivered her personal stone of destiny to win an historic gold medal at the Winter Olympics in front of a record BBC audience of some six million.

Just 18 days later, and after a whirlwind, appearance-strewn reception back home, Martin and her team just failed, losing the Scottish Championships final to Aberdeen's Jackie Lockhart.

That is why it will be new Scottish champion Lockhart and her team of third Sheila Swan, second player Katriona Fairweather, lead Anne Laird and fifth player Edith Loudon who will be representing Scotland at the Worlds.

Because of different qualification rules, it was already known that Britain's Olympic men's team was going on to represent Scotland at these World Championships.

What was not expected was the drama that unfolded as their Olympic campaign foundered.

Men's skip Warwick Smith
Warwick Smith leads the men's rink
After losing their three opening games at Salt Lake, the drastic surgery of dropping skip Hammy McMillan - a former world and European champion - was performed. But this proved too little too late and the men ended up nowhere near the medals.

In contrast to the Martin triumph, the men came home quietly and then delivered the public bombshell of announcing that the team had fired skip McMillan.

As a result the line-up for Bismarck now is skip Warwick Smith from Perth, third player Norman Brown - promoted from fifth man in Salt Lake, second Ewan MacDonald and lead Peter Loudon, with former world junior champion Tom Brewster drafted in as fifth man support.

It is safe to say this group have travelled to Bismarck with something to prove.

Both Scottish teams face a hefty opening day with two games each.

Lockhart's women start against Russia and then face their American hosts, while the men face 1998 Olympic champion Patrick Hurlimann from Switzerland before returning to play Japan.

See also:

10 Mar 02 |  Other Sports
Martin falls in the final
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