Silver medal drives Derrick to future curling success

A Robert Gordon University (RGU) student is celebrating this week after sweeping his way to a silver medal at the World University Winter Games in Italy.

Derrick Sloan (L) with teammates Cameron Smith, Kyle Waddell, Thomas Muirhead, Kyle Smith and coach Dave Ramsay.Second year Pharmacy student Derrick Sloan was selected for the Great Britain Curling team which competed at the 26th Winter Universiade in Trentino.

The event, which is organised for university athletes by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), featured more than 2,500 athletes aged between 17 and 28 from 50 countries and took place between Wednesday, December 11 and Saturday, December 21.

Derrick (19) competed alongside his teammates skip Kyle Smith, Thomas Muirhead, Kyle Waddle and Cammy Smith against other curling teams from Canada, Norway, China, Czech Republic, Sweden, USA, Italy, Republic of Korea and Switzerland.

After winning six of their nine round robin matches, Derrick’s team won through to the final with a composed 7-4 semi-final win over Canada. They went on to claim silver medals after being pipped in the final by an impressive Sweden side.

Derrick, a former Lornshill Academy pupil from Clackmannan, is an RGU: SPORT Scholar and benefits from a tailor-made package of support from the university which allows him to combine his studies with the demands of training and competing against the best curlers in the world.

He said: “Competing at the World University Winter Games has been a great experience. Seeing what it takes to reach an international final will help me prepare for future competitions and being at this level has given me the drive to go on and achieve more success.”

The Swedish team were favourites in the final because of their experience and the confidence they had shown throughout the tournament.

The early exchanges were very tight, the teams sizing each other up and giving very little away, but the Swedes made the first telling blows in ends three and four to move 4-1 ahead.

What proved to be the killer blow came in the sixth end when the Swedish team claimed three points and a 7-2 lead.

Derrick’s team fought back to 5-8, but the Swedes were content to wait for their victory. Though the match went to a tenth end, the match finished GBR 5-9 Sweden.

Great Britain Head Coach, Cate Brewster said: “The men’s team have made the step up from junior level this year and had to cope with some challenging ice conditions here, so winning silver is a real achievement.”

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Ross AndersonCommunications Officer | Health & Sport