Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Judgement Day on Ice; Curling's Big Grudge Match: Olympians Meet World Champions (and They're All British)

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Judgement Day on Ice; Curling's Big Grudge Match: Olympians Meet World Champions (and They're All British)

Article excerpt

Byline: KATE BATTERSBY

KILL, kill, kill. That will be Jackie Lockhart's competitive mindset when her world champion curling team takes on Britain's Olympic gold medal-winning squad led by Rhona Martin this Sunday - the first-ever curling match on British soil to be shown live across the nation.

A year ago the idea that Sunday Grandstand would carry three hours live coverage of curling was somewhat fanciful. But in February, Martin, Margaret Morton, Fiona MacDonald, Debbie Knox and Janice Rankin kept 5.7 million British viewers up beyond midnight as the curlers captured Britain's first Winter Olympic gold in 18 years.

A week after the victorious squad returned home, Lockhart beat Martin to secure the British slot at the world championship in North Dakota. In March, she and her team of Anne Laird, Katrina Fairweather, Sheila Swan and Edith Loudon duly brought home a gold of their own.

Now Sunday's "Clash of the Champions'', hosted by the British Olympic Association at Braehead near Glasgow, will be the first time the teams have faced one another at maximum strength. So it matters.

"It's kill, kill, kill," said Lockhart at home in Aberdeen, before adding with a laugh: ''Of course I mean that in the nicest possible way. It's only out on the ice, not off it. We've known each other a long time. But there would be a certain satisfaction in winning on Sunday.

I've played Rhona three times this year and she's beaten me in the last end every time.

"But then I never ever thought I'd see three hours live curling in Britain.

We've got a lot to thank the Olympics for. But, as a world champion, living with the Olympic thing can cause a little bit of pain.

"Rhona and the girls have received many, many accolades for that and we've lived in their shadow. But that's just life and we've got to get on with it.

We'd like their title and I'm sure they'd like ours. I have to console myself with that.'' But Rhona Martin makes it clear that she wouldn't trade her Olympic gold. "Not for anything," she said from her home in Ayrshire. ''I'll never forget the Games. Now we've got three hours live curling on television.

I can't believe it. …

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