Curlers show nerves of steel ... | Australian Olympic Committee
 

Curlers show nerves of steel despite coming up short against China

Author imageAOC03 Feb 2022
Curling - AUS v USA

Tahli Gill and Dean Hewitt have fallen short of Australia's first Curling victory at the Olympics by the narrowest of margins, going down to China's SuYuan Fan and Ling Zhi 5-6 in Match 2 of the round robin competition.

It was another early example of how tight the competition will be amongst all 10 mixed doubles Curling teams at the Olympics. Tahli and Dean took on the Chinese team that upset powerhouses Switzerland yesterday in a tiebreaking ninth end.

Dean recognises there was a lot to like about their match and how they backed up from losing to Team USA last night.

"It was a tough game. They played well. It took us a while to get into the game there and we're proud of our fight in the second half," Dean said.

"We had a shot for the win there and that's what we're after. So we're going to keep building on that and keep working on that last end to hopefully land some more wins."

After a nervy start from the Australians in their Olympic debut, they showed great confidence from the outset against China. It took some quality aggressive throws from China to deny Australia of an early point in the first end.

Dean and Tahli went through a dry spell from ends three to five, while China scored three points to take a 4-1 lead.

The Aussie pair positioned themselves to take two points from the fifth end but SuYuan, who stared for China, knocked away both Australian stones.

They were up for the challenge and immediately hit back in the sixth end, scoring three points to level the scores - the best takeaway from an end by either side in the match. Tahli knocked out a well-positioned Chinese stone with perfect execution.

"It was such a crucial turning point for our game, to [let us] be in there for a shot with the win at the end," Tahli said.

"It's so easy to get caught up in the excitement of the throw being for three [points], so I was just trying to focus on the line and trust the line and the weight."

The Chinese recovered by nabbing two points in the second last end, on another decisive final stone from SuYuan, which gave them all the points they needed.

Tahli and Dean will have recovery as a big focus as they continue their campaign tonight against the Czech Republic at 11:05pm AEDT on Channel 7 and 7plus.

"We'll get a little bit of rest, play a lot of board games and relax," Tahli said.

"It's all about resetting, refocusing and moving on from that game and going onto the next coming out firing and that's what we're going to do."

Both have caught messages of support which have taken off in Australia, and it's given them a positive boost.

 

 

"To have the support of the nation, that's what we want," Tahli said.

"Ultimately from competing here [the goal] is to have Curling on the map in Australia."

Jeff Dickinson-Fox

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