By Tom Degun

Eve Muirhead_in_actionMarch 17 - Eve Muirhead, the talented young skip of the Scottish women's curling team, declared that her side is looking for nothing less than victory at the 2012 Ford Women's Curling World Championship, but admitted they will targeted by other nations as they are entering the tournament as favourites.

The Championships, which get underway todayow, will be held at the recently-upgraded Enmax Centre in Lethbridge, Alberta in Canada with the world's 12 best teams in action.

Scotland (pictured below) are joined at the event by hosts Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Korea, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.

Muirhead, the four-time world junior champion, will be leading the combination that won the European women's title in Moscow in December 2011, and feels confident of securing victory at Enmax, one of the biggest stages of the sport.

"Everyone knows we are the European champions and I have been reading various blogs putting us down as one of the favourites," said the 21-year-old from Dunkeld.

"Time will tell if that is justified, but we are aware it is a really important one for us because Olympic [winter] points are up for grabs.

"The [winter] Games are still two years away, but the pressure is on to make sure Great Britain qualifies.

Team Scotland_curlers_March_18
"That brings added responsibility and it looks like one of the toughest ever fields, with every nation competing [and] sending what looks like their best teams.

"But if we play to our full potential and step it up a notch or two from the Europeans in Moscow, there is nothing to stop us getting a medal.

"Every one of us is very focused.

"The Euros definitely boosted the girls' confidence, but we know the worlds are an even tougher prospect.

"If we can win this one it would eclipse all the other successes we have had.

"Let's hope that happens."

Canada (pictured below) will be one of Scotland's biggest challengers in front of their home crowd with skip Heather Nedohin (pictured below, far left) and her team set to be full of confidence after winning this season's Scotties Tournament of Hearts – the Canadian women's national championship.

Sweden will be dangerous as they look to defend the title they won last year in Denmark, while China is another contender in confident mood after winning the 2011 Pacific Asia Curling Championships in Nanjing last November.

Team Canada_curlers_March_18
The competition will be particularly important as it carries qualification points for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

The event will be the 34th edition of the Championships with the first event held in Perth, Scotland in 1979.

From 1989 to 2004 the women's and men's events were combined but since 2005, they have been held separately again.

Ford has been involved with curling since 1995 and Graeme Whickman, the vice president of marketing at the Ford Motor Company of Canada, said they were proud to be involved with the latest edition of the event.

"Ford is proud to be the sponsor of the world's premier women's curling event," said Whickman.

"We want to offer good luck to the athletes and thank the City of Lethbridge and all of the volunteers who will make this event such a great success.

"Ford is honoured and dedicated to giving back to communities around the world while providing drivers with safe, innovative, and reliable vehicles."

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Related stories
December 2011: Scotland win European Curling Championships to end 36 year drought
March 2011: Muirhead claims record fourth world title
December 2010: Olympic gold medallist Rhona Martin to lead British women's curling team for Sochi 2014
December 2010: Disappointment for Muirhead as Scots pipped by Swedes 
December 2010: Muirhead eyes victory as curling championships approach climax