STACEY Kemp and David King admitted nerves might have got the better of them after opening their Olympic campaign in Sochi with a stuttering performance.

Chorley’s Kemp and King, who finished 16th in figure skating’s pairs competition four years ago in Vancouver, admitted they were far from their best in last night’s team competition.

The event is a new addition to the Olympic programme and features one entry per nation in each figure skating discipline performing their short program first of all.

Britain were ranked tenth out of the 10 qualified nations ahead of the competition and only the top five countries after tomorrow’s second phase get to perform their free skate.

That means Kemp and King now have time to iron out any problems – a fall following a throw costing them several points – before they compete again on Tuesday in their specialist pairs event.

“I’ve not missed a throw since I’ve been here but it’s one of those things with nerves and pressure, it can get to you,” said Kemp.

“You don't want to fall ever but the big focus is on our individual competition and hopefully we can improve on that. We know what atmosphere we’ll face now, so we can still take a positive from this performance.”

Kemp and King ranked tenth out of 10 at the conclusion of the pairs short program. Kemp, who trained at Blackburn Arena before moving to America, fell with a thud which led to a disappointing score of 44.70, but she is determined to bounce back in the pairs.

She added: “There are a few things that we need to improve on for the next one, like the throw, obviously.

“You don’t want to fall ever but the next focus is the next competition and hopefully we can improve on that.” King added:

“It’s good to get a performance in and settle the nerves but we need to focus on some things that need work.

“We are a lot stronger than we were four years ago.”