By LORIN McDOUGALL

WHEN it comes to curling, Scotland rules the rink. Following in the brush marks of Rhona Martin’s final-stone Olympic gold and David Murdoch’s two world titles, Edinburgh’s Colin Campbell has helped make it a triple Scotch on ice with gold at the European Mixed Championships in Prague.

The two-man, two-woman team of Lynn Cameron, Michelle Silvera, skip Tom Brewster and Campbell (playing “second”) overcame opposition from 23 other countries after a punishing schedule of nine matches in ten days.

“We finished top of our group and won all our matches, except against Finland, but that was the only one we lost all tournament.

“We then beat the local Czech team in the semis and Denmark 5-1 in the final. We’d only played seven ends, but they decided to call it quits and shook hands.

“The semi was actually a much closer game, finishing 4-2 and going the full eight ends. Quite a few supporters went out there from Scotland and we had a wee bit of a party after the final.

“We had some champagne and a few beers, but it wasn’t as cheap out there as we’d heard. It was good fun, though.”

It was good fun too when Campbell first tried curling as a nine-year-old back in 1990 when he accompanied his father and seven-year-old sister to the now-defunct Gogar Park rink.

The former world junior medallist now practises twice a week at Murrayfield Ice Rink in preparation for a series of competitions at home and abroad.

Thanks to invaluable support from the Royal Caledonian Curling Club and the Scottish Institute of Sport, he’ll shortly be off again to a tournament in Berne, with another Swiss trip to follow next month.

Late November sees an international event on home ice here in Edinburgh before the Scottish Championships get underway in December. The new year begins with the Perth Masters in January, but most attention in 2010 will be firmly focused on the World Men’s Championships in April at the Italian resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo.

“This is a big year for Scottish curling, with our championships coming just after the Winter Olympics in Vancouver,” says Campbell.

“Canada is the team to beat in any world championship, so it’s a new challenge for us, but we have to qualify first.”

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