Another chance for Walstad – and Ulsrud tries mixed doubles!
Team Steffen Walstad to hop across the border and Thomas Ulsrud switches formats
Suzhou finalists Team Steffen Walstad will get another crack at reaching the Curling World Cup Grand Final after being named as Norway’s men’s entrants for leg three in Jonkoping.
Team Walstad made the final in leg one in Suzhou, China, but were edged out 6-5 by Canada’s Team Kevin Koe. They will now hope to go one better when they travel across the border from their Oppdale base to Sweden to compete in leg three between 30 January – 3 February.
Magnus Nedregotten will re-join the men’s rink as second after his tremendous mixed doubles success in Omaha. Vice-skip Markus Hoeiberg and lead Magnus Vaagberg complete the line-up.
Team Walstad were runners-up in the Swiss Cup Basel in October to Team Niklas Edin and may have the opportunity to avenge the loss against their Scandinavian rivals at the Jonkoping Curling Club.
In a surprise move, Norway have selected Thomas Ulsrud to play in the mixed doubles in what will be his first experience of the format. The 47-year-old legend will be joined by someone who knows a thing or two about the two-player game - Omaha champion Kristin Skaslien.
Ulsrud, who leads the way in the most major championship wins in history with 243, skipped Norway to a gold medal at the World Men’s Curling Championship 2014 in Beijing and will be hoping to secure a spot in the Chinese capital next May.
Ulsrud will be Skaslien’s third different partner in the Curling World Cup this season after she partnered Sander Roelvaag in leg one and Nedregotten in leg two. The Olympic bronze medallist has also been skipping her own women’s rink in the meantime.
* In the event that Kristin Skaslien, Magnus Nedregotten or any other individual achieves the Grand Final qualification criteria more than once; by winning more than one leg in different team line-ups, or qualifying in two separate disciplines; the Curling World Cup will decide on how that affects their and others’ qualification for the Grand Final.