Fast starts for Sweden, Canada in women's curling

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Steve Douglas/AP Sports Writer

SOCHI, RUSSIA - Sweden landed an early psychological blow in the women's curling tournament by beating big rival Britain 6-4 in a tense, strategic opening game between two favorites for the title.

But for statements of intent, look no further than Canada.

Jennifer Jones' team crushed China 9-2 in a shortened game that was conceded after just seven ends because of the large differential.

Switzerland beat the United States 7-4 and Russia delighted its raucous fans by defeating Denmark 6-4 in the other games.

Under new skip Margaretha Sigfridsson, Sweden is bidding for a third straight gold medal and capitalized on a fast start against Eve Muirhead's world champion Britishteam, going up 3-0 after three ends.

For many, it was a rehearsal for the Feb. 20 final.

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