START as you mean to go on was the approach taken by Eve Muirhead and her curling rink as they opened their bid for Olympic gold in style.

It did not take Team Muirhead long to register a mark in the win column of the women’s round robin stages in PyeongChang yesterday – just seven ends against the neutral athletes from Russia to be precise.

The mood was set from the off as they picked up three points from the opening end and, when their opponents conceded four points in the seventh to lead the scoreboard reading 10-3, the game was up as they shook hands with three ends still remaining.

As current European champions and bronze medallists from Sochi four years ago, this result was to be expected - but not necessarily guaranteed in a sport likened to chess on ice. Indeed on both of those occasions, at the 2014 Games and November’s Europeans – the latter competing as Scotland rather than Great Britain – Muirhead’s rink lost their opening games to Sweden.

The subsequent podium finishes for them after bouncing back from those defeats demonstrate that the round robin stage affords plenty of room for redemption.

But having also admitted to pre-competition nerves, there was obvious delight at the marker laid down by Muirhead and her team.

“To get off to a strong start like that at an Olympic Games is fantastic.

“It was crucial that we did as it’s a long week out here,” said the 27-year-old.

“For us, that stamps out authority down that Team GB are here and we are playing well.

“I’ve always said that if we can get off to a strong start in tournaments like this, it’s crucial.

“It’s a long week and if you do drop games early on, it does give you a bit of a mountain to climb.

“As a team sometimes we don’t make it easy for ourselves but I’m delighted with that performance.

“We’ve got a long way to go.

“We’ve got another eight round robin games and we’re going to have to stay focused.

“As a team if we perform the way we can perform, winning the European Championships a couple of months back, gives us a lot of confidence. It also gives us confidence that we can play in these high pressure situations.

“Having a taste of medal success in Sochi, it makes you hungry to get on that podium.”

Muirhead and co. are not the type to rest on their laurels and you can bet there would have been plenty of post-session debriefing in the athletes’ village last night before today’s games against America and China.

Coach Glenn Howard would have had a heavy input but the Canadian was largely impressed with what he had seen.

“There were a couple of things to improve, we weren’t too sure on a couple of lines but that’s what you get on the first day,” he said.

“But there is so much experience with this team at a very young age and that is huge coming into an Olympics. There is nothing that is going to happen to them that they are not going to expect.

“That goes a long way in this competition.”

Unlike the experienced-packed Muirhead rink, the men’s team – led by Kyle Smith and featuring Muirhead’s brother Tom – are all Games newbies. They picked up a maiden win though from the morning, seeing off Switzerland 6-5 after a tense final end.

But against Canada – a country whose national Olympic trials are among the most fierce in the world – the going was decidedly tougher in the evening.

To their credit, the Brits rallied after a slow start and a steal in the sixth end brought them back to 4-3.

But their failure to only pick up a single and not two in the eighth saw Kevin Koe’s Canadians seize back the advantage to see it out 6-4.

Skip Smith said: “It’s disappointing to have our first loss of the tournament but it was pleasing in a way because we didn’t start very well and we’re playing one of the best teams in the world defending a lead,

“So in that respect it was encouraging how we came back and still had a chance in the end to win the game.

“There’s just a few lessons for us to learn about different bits of the sheet and how we can throw the rock and that’s something we will discuss with our coach and bring that. It’s definitely great to start the Olympics, it feels like we’ve been waiting forever.”

Meanwhile, high winds wreaked havoc in Pyeongchang again yesterday. The women’s slalom at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre was postponed yesterday morning and the scheduled women’s individual biathlon event at Alpensia has been put back to today.

Last Sunday saw the postponement of the men’s downhill, the blue riband event of the programme, which has been rescheduled to take place at Jeongseon Alpine Centre today.

The men’s combined was on Tuesday won by Austria’s Marcel Hirscher who finished 0.23 seconds ahead of Alexis Pinturault of France.

Watch Eve Muirhead and her rink play China on Eurosport 1 at 11.05am today. Don’t miss a moment of the Olympic Winter Games on Eurosport and Eurosport Player. Go to