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Monday, 11 February, 2002, 21:24 GMT

Canada edge out GB curlers

Click here for men's curling results

Great Britain have lost their first match at the Winter Olympics to the favourites for curling gold - Canada.

The four-man team, skippered by Hammy McMillan, were beaten 6-4 at the Ogden Ice Sheet.

In a match of 10 ends, McMillan, Peter Loudon, Ewan MacDonald and Warwick Smith went two points down in the second and were never able to make up the deficit.

There was better news for Britain in the women's event, with a 10-5 victory over Norway in their opener.

In the men's encounter, Canada threw 87% of their stones into the house compared to Great Britain's figure of 78%.

For McMillan, who mustered a personal tally of only 66%, it was a disappointing Olympic debut.

"The defeat was all a matter of fractions, just a couple of inches here and there," McMillan reflected.

"Canada are one of the top teams in the world but I spotted a few frailties so if we can go on and play them again we will have a chance next time."

Canada's Kevin Martin posted the best playing percentages among the men's teams playing in the opening session.

"We missed a couple of shots and in this game, inches can mean everything"
GB skip Hammy McMillan

McMillan's men will play eight more round-robin matches, with the top four in the 10-team competition progressing to the semi-finals.

After having a bye in the second round, McMillan's men now face reigning world and European champion Peter Lindholm from Sweden in their second game.

Lindholm went down to a surprise defeat at the hands of USA in the opening draw and will be looking to make amends against the British team.

After the 10-5 triumph, US skip Tim Somerville said: "I feel like I have won a medal already.

"But there is still a long, long journey to go."

Defeat against Sweden would not be terminal to British qualifying chances.

But a further loss would put them under the kind of pressure they could do without o early in the competition.

  • Men's draw one results:

    Finland 9-3 Denmark
    Germany 9-5 France
    United States 10-5 Sweden
    Canada 6-4 Great Britain

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