23 January 2019

Around the Rinks #8

The latest from the world of curling as Jonkoping draws ever closer...

With just a week to go before Curling World Cup leg three in Jonkoping, Sweden, gets under way, we take a look at how some of the world’s elite curlers have been preparing.

Jubilation for Team World

Preparation for their home Curling World Cup leg could not have gone any better for Sweden’s Team Anna Hasselborg and Team Niklas Edin, as they played their part in Team World’s triumph over Team North America at the 2019 Continental Cup in Las Vegas.

Anna Hasselborg, 29, had a tremendous weekend in Vegas, winning all but one her games as Team World won 34-26 to claim their first victory at the Continental Cup in seven years.

The two rinks will now head home to perform in front of their adoring home crowd from 30 January – 3 February at the Jonkoping Curling Club.

Four teams in action in Glasgow

Four rinks who will be competing in Jonkoping next week were in action last weekend at the Glynhill Ladies International in Glasgow, Scotland - Team Sophie Jackson, Russia’s Team Anna Sidorova, Team Tori Koana of Japan and Team Jiang Lijun from China.

Team Sidorova and Team Koana fared best out of the quartet we'll be seeing next week as both reached the quarter-finals stage.

New era for Chinese curling

We are almost three years away from the next Winter Olympics in Beijing and China’s capital city has begun its preparations recently by announcing three men’s and women’s rinks, as well as 10 mixed doubles pairs, for the national team.

The teams were decided at a recent trial event at the newly-built National Winter Sports Training Center in Beijing's Shougang Industrial Park – which will be fully opened in May.

The skip of the national men’s rink, Dexin Ba, who will have competed at each of the Curling World Cup legs after Jonkoping, is enthusiastic about the new venue.

"Great changes have taken place in the Beijing Olympic cycle,” said 28-year-old Ba. “This brand new training venue has been built for the 2022 Games.

“In the past, we had to travel around China and overseas to prepare for the Winter Olympics, and it was very tiring. But now we have top training facilities here at Shougang.”

Nations aim for World Championships

The final two spots available for each of the 2019 World Championships were decided in New Zealand this week, where 13 countries from four continents took part across the men’s and women’s events.

The World Men’s Curling Championship is to be held in Lethbridge, Canada, in late March with the women’s equivalent taking place a week earlier, in Silkeborg, Denmark. Netherlands and Korea grabbed the final two men's spots with Finland and China sealing their places in Lethbridge.

Each world champion will be allocated an automatic spot in May’s Curling World Cup Grand Final in Beijing.

Best of social media

It was revealed last week that Rachel Homan and Joanne Courtney will become mothers this summer, but team-mates Emma Miskew and Lisa Weagle wanted to clarify they will not be making it a full set!

It is fair to say that Rasmus Wranaa especially enjoyed Team World’s victory in Vegas. Where did he learn those moves from?

Team Hasselborg were not thrilled to be leaving the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’. Hopefully competing on home ice next week at the Curling World Cup will cheer them up?

Life on the road for our curlers may take them around the world but it does come with its logistical problems. Suzhou champion Kevin Koe is not one for travelling ‘light’.

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