Drama as Duns wheelchair curler David Melrose suffers injury in fall at Paralympics

Duns curler David Melrose was at the centre of drama yesterday in Beijing when he fell from his wheelchair and suffered a shoulder injury at the Paralympic Games.

By Ralph Mellon
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 2:12 pm
David Melrose, centre, with GB teammates Gregor Ewan and Meggan Dawson-Farrell, shortly before suffering his fall against Canada at the Paralympic Games in Beijing (picture by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
David Melrose, centre, with GB teammates Gregor Ewan and Meggan Dawson-Farrell, shortly before suffering his fall against Canada at the Paralympic Games in Beijing (picture by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The GB sportsman was part of the squad which, sadly, made an unsuccessful bid to stay in the tournament in Wednesday, with defeats in the day’s two round robin matches.

The UK lost 6-3 to Canada and 8-6 to Korea, making it arithmetically impossible for them to finish in the top four of the group stages and advance to the semi-finals.

The incident involving the 56-year-old Berwickshire player occurred in the fourth end of the game against Canada, with the score at 2-2.

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Melrose fell from his chair, off the rink, when reaching for his delivery stick and needed medical attention before being taken from the arena on a stretcher.

He was transferred to hospital, where a rotator cuff injury was diagnosed.

He was later released and said to be in good spirits as he came back to the athletes’ village.

A statement from Paralympics GB said: “David Melrose has now left hospital and returned to the athlete accommodation, following scans which show a rotator cuff injury.

“He'll continue to receive the medical support he requires and all of us wish him well in his recovery.”

Alternate Gary Smith replaced Melrose in the team, which had two remaining round robin matches on Thursday.

The GB team lost 6-3 to China, before regaining some pride and halting the sequence of four straight defeats as they signed off with an 8-4 victory over Latvia.

Skip Hugh Nibloe said Melrose’s fall did affect the team but the most important thing was the former firefighter and gravedigger was OK.

The team will now have a weekend off after completing Thursday’s clashes and Nibloe added: “It is really frustrating.“We had a good camp before coming out but we’re a young team and it wasn’t our week – that’s just curling.”

Britain struggled for any form of consistency at the Ice Cube – they lost 7-5 to Norway before beating the USA 10-6 on day one, then had a day off 24 hours later, when Russia were belatedly banned from the games by the International Paralympic Committee.

Team GB then smashed Switzerland 15-1 and lost 7-3 to Slovakia on day three.

Their error-strewn evening performances continued on Tuesday as they lost 6-4 to classy Sweden, unable to follow on from the morning’s fluent 10-5 triumph over Estonia.

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