By James Crook

164615087March 28 - Great Britain have secured their first five athlete slots for next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi for a women's curling team, after Scotland were crowned World Champions in Latvia.

British Curling elected Scotland to win ranking points on behalf of Great Britain for Sochi in both men's and women's categories, and the team consisting of Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Claire Hamilton supported by alternate Lauren Gray and coaches Rhona Martin and David Hay ensured that GB will have a women's team at Sochi after becoming the first Scottish female team to take the world title since 2002 on Sunday (March 24).

British Curling will nominate the players selected for Sochi to the British Olympic Association as the Games - which are due to be take place between February 7 and 23 next year - draw closer.

Mike Hay, BOA Head of Sport Engagement said: "Congratulations to Eve and her team.

"This is a fantastic win for such a young team, Eve has become the youngest ever skip to win the Worlds.

"It's a great way to end the winter season, with the first five athlete slots secured for Team GB for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

72441170Martin (right) skipped her team to win Great Britain's only gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City

"The men's curlers of course have a chance to boost this number when they compete in the World Champs in Victoria, Canada.

"However, expect plenty more next season as we believe Team GB will number about 50 athletes at the Winter Olympics in Sochi next year."

Britain's solitary gold medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City came when Martin skipped her all-Scottish team to victory in the women's curling, but the women's team have failed to qualify past the group stage at the past two attempts, including in 2010 when Muirhead skipped the team at just 19 years of age.

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