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Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 08:51 GMT
GB women back on track
By BBC Sport Online's Mike Haggerty in Salt Lake City
Before the women's third round-robin game against Japan, Britain's curlers had suffered a hat-trick of successive losses at Ogden's Ice Sheet.
But as they smiled and joked their way to a 9-1 win over Japan in just seven ends, Rhona Martin's team managed to lift the gloom at last.
This was a one-sided affair from the start. With last stone advantage, Martin scored two in the first end when Japan's skip Akiko Katoh missed an attempted take-out.
Another complete miss by Katoh gave Britain a single steal from the second end, and the Japanese got themselves on the scoreboard with a single shot in the third.
The British women asserted themselves again in the next two ends, taking two from the fourth and a further single steal from the fifth to go into the half-time break with a 6-1 lead.
After this, confidence was flowing through the relaxed British team.
Good play in the sixth end forced their opponents to concede another steal.
This time for two shots, when their final attempted tap-out was not strong enough to push out two British stones already in the house.
A further single steal for Britain in the seventh end when a complicated raise shot by Katoh did not come off was enough to persuade Japan to concede the game.
Afterwards, a delighted Martin said: "That was a good solid team performance. We were in control from the start of the game until the finish.
"We put the pressure on them a lot to play the shots - it was a good game and I enjoyed it."
The British women now have two wins from three starts, and this keeps them in the middle of the pack fighting for semi-final places.
They have a bye in the next session before facing Russia and then Canada.
In other women's games, Canada's Kelley Law kept her undefeated record, logging her third win with a 7-6 victory over an improving Russian team who pushed her all the way.
Germany beat Denmark by 9-5 and USA beat Sweden by 6-5. Both victors now join Great Britain and Switzerland on two wins.
Great Britain 9-1 Japan
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