SOCHI — Russia's women's curling team started its campaign for a first-ever Olympic medal on Monday by defeating Denmark in the first round robin session of the tournament.
The Russians, captained by 2012 European champion Anna Sidorova, stormed to a 7-4 victory at Sochi's Ice Cube arena.
The hosts nearly blew a 4-1 lead as the Danes leveled the scores by the eighth end. But Russian vice-captain Margarita Fomina scored two points in the penultimate end and the Russians saw out the victory.
"We are all people and we all make mistakes," Sidorova said. "I'm not afraid to admit my mistakes, but I try to make as few as possible. Today, the result is more important than the performance."
Reigning champion Sweden started the defense of its title with a hard-fought 6-4 win over Britain, a team comprised entirely of Scottish players who won the world gold in 2013.
Canada, runner up in 2010 in Vancouver, had little trouble defeating China, finishing the match 9-2 with three ends to go.
Two-time Olympic silver medalist Switzerland also successfully started with a win, beating the United States 7-4.
The Olympic curling tournament features a round robin tournament where everyone plays everyone else and the top four teams in the final standings progress to the playoffs.
The gold medal game is on Feb. 20.