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Olympic round up: Women's curling team stumble

Swiss skip Luzia Ebnoether in action against Great Britain (source:Keystone) Keystone

Switzerland's female curling team have lost their first game, ending a six-match winning streak.

This content was published on February 16, 2002 - 18:22

Following a series of confident victories and a few late rallies, the team from Bern looked to be heading for a clean sweep of the preliminary curling rounds.

The women were also out-performing their male compatriots who have lost two of their five matches and slipped into the dangerous fifth position on their ten-country league table.

On Friday, however, the golden-streak ran out. The women, lead by Luzia Ebnöther, lost decisively to Great Britain 7-4.

The Brits women took a 3-0 lead in the second end and never gave the Swiss a chance to haul them back. At the end of the ninth, Switzerland managed to close the gap to 5-4, before being overwhelmed.

Switzerland still has another three matches before the semi-finals kick off next week. They currently share first place with Canada, Sweden, and GB.

Meanwhile, the men's curling side was beaten 2-7 by Canada, despite a strong start that saw the Swiss side win the first of five ends.

However, the team are still in with a strong chance of qualifying for the semi-finals, having so far clocked up a tally of three wins and an equal number of losses.

The team now face games against Britain, France and Germany.

Cross country

As Switzerland's curlers face the first test of their gold-medal resolve, the countries' cross country skiers continue to flounder against powerhouse athletes from Scandinavia and Russia.

The women's combined pursuit event saw Switzerland's two competing skiers place 24th and 31st out of the 50-strong field.

Laurence Rochat produced a consistent performance over the two disciplines - a five kilometre classic-style race followed a few hours later by a five kilometre free-style pursuit.

The 23-year-old from L'Abbaye placed 25th in both events, but managed an overall classification of 24 with a combined time of 26:11.8, over a minute behind surprise gold medallist Russian Olga Danilowa.

Loretan impresses

Compatriot Brigitte Albrecht Loretan finished 31st with a combined time of 1:35.2.

However, Swiss ski-fans had reason to cheer after Loretan scorched home in the freestyle pursuit, placing 11th with a time of 11:57.3.

Her strong skating performance has earned the four-times Olympic veteran a berth in the Swiss relay team, which takes on the world next week.

In the first leg, Loretan came last with a time of 14:30.

Hugentoblers disappoint

Switzerland's popular sister-brother ice-skating pair, Eliane and Daniel Hugentobler, finished in 15th place in the ice-dancing event.

The French duo, Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat, came first in the event, beating Russian rivals, Irina Lobacheva and Ilia Averbukh.

swissinfo with agencies

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