Motherwell’s Bob McPherson wants another Paralympic curling medal

Bob McPherson in Paralympic action in South Korea this week (Submitted pic)
Bob McPherson in Paralympic action in South Korea this week (Submitted pic)

One picture of his Sochi Paralympic medal is all the inspiration Bob McPherson needs in Pyeongchang, writes Ross Lawson of Sportsbeat.

But the Motherwell wheelchair curler is determined not to rely on the achievements of four years ago in his bid for more Winter Games success.

McPherson and his rink have a hard job ahead of them if they want a repeat, however, after losing two games in a day in the Gangneung Curling Centre.

The British team defeated defending champions Canada for their fourth win in five on Monday but, after defeats to Slovakia and the Neutral Paralympic Athletes, wins are a must if they are to be one of the four teams that reach the semi-finals.

“I was tempted to bring the Sochi medal with me but it’s at home, I’ve got a photo of it on my phone so every now and then I have a wee peek to remind myself what it’s all about,” he said.

“But it’s about what goes on now, I’m confident we can still be up there come the end of the week.

“The target is a medal, we’ve known that and we’re confident that’s possible.

“We started the week really well and we’ve had a blip but I feel we can turn that around.

“It’s a blip, we showed how we could play in both games tomorrow and I’m confident we can be back.”

Monday’s 8-1 victory over Canada had suggested big things for ParalympicsGB, with McPherson joined by skip Aileen Neilson, Gregor Ewan, Hugh Nibloe and Angie Malone on the ice.

But they were brought down to earth with a bump in a day well below par, first losing to Slovakia from the very last stone of the game.

The next didn’t even reach the final end as a plethora of missed chances saw Britain lose 8-2 to the Neutral Paralympic Athletes just a few hours later.

But when it comes to the Games and spending time in PyeongChang, this experience is about more than just results for the 49-year-old Scot.

“I feel good, there are no nerves out there which is what I had in Sochi, now I’m just focusing mainly on playing the shots as well as I can,” added McPherson, who has spent life in a wheelchair after being born with spina bifida.

“It’s absolutely fabulous to be here, right from before the Games started I’ve totally enjoyed it and tried to make the most of what’s been going on, whether that’s on the ice or not.

“It was a bad day at the office, we just weren’t executing as well as we know we can but hopefully we’ll get back to firing the way we have done so far.

“We called the game okay, the tactics were right but when it came down to making the shot we weren’t able to make it this time around.”

As the Motherwell Times was going to press on Tuesday, the Great Britain curlers were in fourth place in the 12-team table, and on course to be one of the top four teams to qualify for Friday’s semi-finals.

In their last four group games, Great Britain are due to play Germany and USA tomorrow (Wednesday), before Thursday ties against South Korea and Canada.

Sainsbury’s is a proud long-term supporter of the British Paralympic Association and a champion of inclusive sport for all. For more information on Sainsbury’s commitment to inclusive sport visit http://www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/