Sarajevo 2019 Day Five: Curlers add golden finish to Team GB’s European Youth Olympic Festival
Team GB’s mixed curling quartet ensured the Sarajevo 2019 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival ended on a high after a winning gold on the final day of the Games.
The team, skipped by Hamish Gallacher and featuring Angus Bryce, Robyn Munro and Inca Maguire, defeated Switzerland 6-2 in the gold medal match to win the tournament, ensuring their 100% record over the course of their eight matches.
Both Team GB and Switzerland had seven wins to their name heading into the gold medal match, but it was the British four who came out on top, navigating their way through a nervy first few ends to secure victory after the eighth.
They had earlier stormed to victory in the semi-finals, beating Poland 8-2 after only six ends.
“It’s an amazing feeling – it’s been a lot of hard work in the build-up to this event, said skip Hamish Gallacher. It’s been a long hard week and it’s been great to have all the support behind us and the fact we could repay them is great. We would have been happy with a medal, but the fact it was gold is outstanding.
“We were coming in with the mind-set that we would like to medal. Once we got into the semi-final this morning after we finished the first game, we realised that we just wanted to get the job done and end the week on a high.
“We got off to a really fast start in the final, I think we were leading 3-1 at half-time. We got in with everybody really buzzing and the adrenaline was pumping. I was really proud of the team being able to manage their emotions throughout the whole game.
“Eight wins out of eight – if you’d have said that at the start of the week my jaw would have dropped. We’ve played some quality curling this week and the fact we have been able to fulfil our potential has made us so happy.”
Lead Inca Maguire said, “I can’t get the smile off my face, I’m so happy right now. I hope was hoping to medal at the start of the week, but I never really thought it would come true.
“When I had the medal placed around my neck, it was an amazing feeling. This is my first ever gold medal at my first European Youth Olympic Festival – hopefully this is the start of things to come”, she added.
That gold was the second medal won by Team GB in Sarajevo following Gabe Adams’ snowboarding big air bronze yesterday.
“I’m super excited to have won”, said Adams, who celebrated his 16th birthday in style with the medal.
“It was such a good experience. I just had to focus and get my run down as clean as I could and I managed to put down a pretty decent run that got me into third.
“I wasn’t expected to win like that – my mum and dad were so excited, my mum even cried a bit. It’s been wicked that they even came to watch – I can’t thank them enough.
“I couldn’t put a price on my overall experience – it’s been absolutely amazing. The Opening Ceremony was absolutely crazy with thirty-five thousand people cheering you on.
“Meeting people from all the different sports has been super cool and swapping pins with all the other countries has been fun. A lot of the other snowboarders I have already been friends with so it’s been great to see them again.”
Earlier in the week, the under-16 World Rookie Tour number one also reached the men’s slopestyle final finishing in sixth, with teammate Lewis Moore joining Adams in both finals, finishing 11th in each.
Fellow snowboarders Ethan Smith, Leon Drynan, Luca Lane-Hopkins and Lara Cabrera-Myram all competed in the slopestyle and big air competitions, with all four falling at the semi-final stage.
Today’s schedule also saw the end of the alpine skiing competition, with Team GB competing in the mixed parallel team event on the Olympic mountains of Bjelašnica.
Unfortunately, the British quartet of Sarah Woodward, Victoria Palla, Charles Rankin and Owen Vinter didn’t progress through the first round, losing out to the Czech Republic on time difference, with the scores poised at two apiece from the four head-to-head races.
Woodward had recorded Team GB’s best result of the week after finishing ninth in the slalom, while Vinter was the best placed male competitor, steering his way to 20th in the men’s giant slalom.
The Slavija Stadium played host to the final day of short track speed skating, with Olivia Weedon, Sophie Robertson, Theo Collins and Ollie Rowe all in action in the 1000m.
Collins progressed through the first round before being knocked out in the quarter-finals to eventually finish 17th, while Rowe placed 22nd. Weedon and Robertson both fell in the heats, finishing 26th and 31st respectively.
Flagbearer Weedon had reached the B final in the women’s 1500m on Monday, where she eventually crossed the line in ninth position.
Genevieve Somerville and Joseph Zakipour both represented Team GB in the figure skating, with Zakipour recording a personal best in the men’s short programme with a score of 41.38 to finish 14th.
Alexander Franks-Penty and Beinn Horsfall had a mixed week in the cross-country skiing, with the pair’s best result came in the 10km classic technique event, where they were ranked 39th and 46th respectively.
Elsewhere, reigning British biathlon champion, Shawna Pendry only just missed out on ranking inside the top-50, finishing 64th in the 6km sprint and 54th in the 7.5km individual.