Great Britain’s women’s curling team squeezed into the Olympic semi-finals by 10 centimetres as Eve Muirhead fashioned a great escape at the National Aquatics Centre in Beijing.

Muirhead, a bronze medallist in Sochi in 2014, went into the last match of the round-robin phase against the Russian Olympic Committee requiring at least three results to go her way in order to book a top-four spot.

The 31-year-old kept her side of the bargain with a brilliant double take-out in the penultimate end to score four and seal a 9-4 win, then waited nervously while Sweden beat South Korea in order to guarantee their place.

“We were in the mixed zone watching TV – I don’t think many of us could really watch the screen,” said team-mate Jennifer Dodds, who will now get a second shot at guaranteeing an Olympic medal after missing out in the mixed event.

“You never know and we were not 100 per cent sure. But when we got it confirmed it was more relief than anything else.”

Locked together with two other teams on a 5-4 win-loss record, Muirhead’s team advanced by virtue of the ‘draw shot challenge’ system – an average of the accuracy of the final pre-match draw shots played prior to every round-robin match.

It placed Great Britain in third place, ahead of Japan and Canada, the latter being eliminated, and set up a semi-final against Sweden on Friday.

“I wouldn’t call it luck,” insisted Muirhead, who has lost her two previous semi-finals in 2014 and 2018. “I thought we played very well out there today, and I know Switzerland and Sweden did as well.

“This is my third Olympic semi-final but I don’t want it to go the way 2018 went. It was tough but I believe in us as a team. All we can do is curl the way we have all week and if we carry on that momentum, we definitely won’t be far away.”

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games – Day ThirteenEve Muirhead’s team will play Sweden in the semi-finals (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Meanwhile, Bruce Mouat’s men’s team will play for a place in the Olympic final later on Thursday after brushing aside Canada to finish top of their round-robin standings.

Mouat’s side claimed a 5-2 win to end an impressive group stage with an 8-1 record – but next up they must meet the United States, the reigning champions and the only team to get the better of them so far.

However, Mouat is in no doubt his side have moved on since their 9-7 loss last Friday, and believes the setback in what was only their second game in the competition will not prove a decisive factor.

Mouat said: “We’ve learnt a lot about the ice in the last four or five days. We know what kind of throws we need to make shots.

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games – Day ThirteenBruce Mouat’s men were beaten by the United States in the group stage (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“The second game that we had was against the USA, which we did lose, but we’ve learnt so much from that point that I’m really confident we can come out and play better.

“We will just have to relax into the game and try and not feel the extra pressure that the semi-finals is going to put on and just try and enjoy ourselves, which is when we play our best.”

Mouat and his team-mates Hammy McMillan, Bobby Lammie and Grant Hardie came into the tournament as the world’s number one-ranked team and runners-up in last year’s World Championship to Sweden.

The Swedes, skipped by veteran Niklas Edin, whom Mouat’s men defeated earlier in the competition, face Canada in the second semi-final.