Kinross

Sochi 2014 logo

What does it take for that girl to get a break in Sochi?  I can't really imagine how heart-breaking or frustrating it must be to do all the work to get to the Winter Olympics and have high expectations of a medal in at least one of three events and have it end this way.

I can understand the penalty in the 500m: The fall was simply unfortunate but the rule is that if you go down and take out another competitor who is ahead of you then you get penalised.  In the 1500m it was either a misjudgement or over-caution in trying to avoid another coming-together that caused Elise to run just outside the designated finish line, but even on the limited camera angles on TV it was fairly clear that she did miss the line and that the DNF decision was fair.

I can't, however, agree with the referee on the basis of what I saw this afternoon. It seemed quite clear cut - Christie had passed Jianrou Li on the outside just before the Chinese girl slipped, taking out the West Lothian lass, so a penalty against Jianrou was appropriate.  I know the referees have access to camera angles that the viewing public don't get to see, but if Christie "impeded" any of the other competitors, as the referee adjudged, then it seems to me that the same charge could be levelled at almost every other competitor in the short track speed skating - it's a sport that has its share of argy bargy, especially in the first few metres as everyone jostles for position going into the first corner.

We'll probably never get full details of the referee's reasoning - and to be honest I can understand the need to insulate referees from public criticism - but it is really hard to not feel that an injustice was done today.

Men's Curling

Both commiserations and congratulations go to Dave Murdoch's rink.  A gold was within their grasp but the final ran true to the form of the earlier round robin matches and the Canadian team were just too strong for them.  Sadly I missed the match this afternoon, but by all accounts the game was essentially lost in the early ends when the Canadians were able to break out an early lead at 5-1 after three ends and which just became too big to pull back.

The GB team had made some dramatic shots earlier in the competition to keep their dream alive, but you can't hope to get those breaks every game.  I'm sure nerves and the occasion had some part in it too.

I guess defeat will seem a bit bitter tonight, but the silver medals will look a lot sweeter tomorrow.  It's still a fine achievement and something to take pride in.

Ladies' Curling

Let's not forget Eve Muirhead's ladies rink:  Like the men, they had some excellent results including a record breaking 7 point end against USA in the round robin stage.  Despite failing to make the final they came through against a tough Swiss side to claim their bronze medals.

Little known fact:

The curling stones in use at the 2014 Winter Olympics were made by Kays of Scotland who have exclusive rights to use Ailsa Craig granite for their curling stones.