Curlers Bruce Mouat and Jennifer Dodds felt at home on Olympic ice - right down to the pipers who serenaded them in - and were ‘chuffed’ with their opening win in Beijing.

The first Team GB athletes to compete at this Olympics, the Edinburgh duo came through a very scrappy mixed doubles opener against Sweden with a 9-5 victory.

The reigning world champions were given a late scare when Oskar Eriksson created a chance to force an extra end at 8-5, but Almida De Val missed the regulation takeout.

"It took us a while to figure out conditions and then we settled,” said Dodds, who is one of over 1,000 athletes able to train full-time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support thanks to vital National Lottery funding.

“This is a building block and we know what to expect now.”

Mouat added: "We need to try and improve on it but it's a great start. We knew Sweden will be at the top end of the table by the end of the week.

“We just need to build on that momentum now.”

Leading 4-3 at the halfway stage, Sweden stole two in the fifth end after Dodds misjudged a draw. But the pendulum soon shifted back to Britain, who capitalised on two bad slips from Oskar Eriksson to take three against the powerplay in the penultimate end.

Dodds and Mouat briefly opened the door, allowing Sweden to lie two, but were let off the hook by De Val on the final stone.

On the final end drama, Moaut said: "We expect them to make shots but we were a bit fortunate that went our way. We will learn from that."

The Scottish pair are the first British curlers to compete in two disciplines at the same Olympics and face eight more round robin contests before they can think about medals.

Tomorrow they return to the Ice Cube, transformed from the Water Cube used at Beijing 2008, to take on reigning Olympic champions Canada and 2018 silver medallists Switzerland. 

Mouat said: “It was an honour to be the first Team GB athletes to compete.

"I remember watching the swimming at this venue in 2008 so it means a lot to be finally here and hope we can keep things going.”

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