Narrow miss for Duncan at Winter Youth Olympics

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ARBROATH curler Duncan Menzies admitted that a sluggish start had cost him the chance of a medal at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Austria.

The 17-year-old skippered a much-fancied British rink that failed to qualify for the knock-out stages of the mixed team competition in Innsbruck after they lost their first four games.

Menzies and co finally found their form as the week progressed, finishing with three straight round-robin wins but it proved to be in vain as other results conspired against them.

And skip Menzies, a former Arbroath High School pupil, confessed that their exit from the mixed team competition was demoralising for all concerned.

“We had a tough start to the week, I was really struggling to read the ice in our first few games and the cost us in the end,” he said.

“But having said that we could have still won three of those first four, they were extremely close but it just didn’t go our way.

“So in terms of results I would have to say that I’m disappointed. We ended the round-robin stage with three wins in a row and were playing really well but by then it was too late.

“But we have to learn from this. It’s a great experience for me to have had and hopefully I will get the chance one day to prove that.

“I want to be at a proper Olympics where hopefully my results will be better but all the same this has been a fantastic competition.”

After their exit the British team of Menzies, Thomas Muirhead, Angharad Ward and Rachel Hannen were then all paired up with curlers from another country for the mixed doubles.

And Menzies, who was the only Brit to make the quarter-finals in the doubles with his partner Taylor Anderson from the USA, praised the Games organisers’ decision to mix up the teams.

“It was a lot of fun to play with someone from a different country,” he added. “Taylor and I made a good team and we were close to challenging for a medal.

“The experience was fantastic in terms of learning about how other people play the game, meeting new people and making new friends, I enjoyed it and we almost made the semi-finals which would have been great.”

The British Olympic Association prepares and leads British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It works in partnership with sport National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic values.