China rinks seek home Grand Final spot
Jiang Yilun at the helm for China at the last-leg battle.
The Chinese Curling Federation has selected its line-ups for leg three of the Curling World Cup, as all three teams look to stake their claim as China’s representatives for the Grand Final.
Jiang Yilun will take the reins of the women’s rink – replacing Sijia Liu as skip – at the Jonkoping Curling Hall, after they finished third in the group in leg one in Suzhou.
The Chinese team picked up wins over Scotland’s Team Jennifer Dodds and Omaha winners Team Fujisawa of Japan in leg one and will look to build on what has been an impressive season.
Since Suzhou, the team won a bronze medal at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships and reached the final of the Boundary Ford Curling Classic but the team’s regular skip, Liu, will not be involved in Jonkoping.
Zhang Lijun, who skips her own rink on tour, comes into the line-up to throw third with Dong Ziqi and Jiang Xindi completing the line-up as second and lead respectively.
Xiuyue Ma’s rink will compete in the men’s draw and have had a busy 2018-2019 season in which they made the quarter-finals of the Oakville Fall Classic and have encountered close games with some of the world’s best, including Team Thomas Ulsrud and Team Brad Gushue.
The team have been competing in senior-only events for the first time this season and represented their country at the China Open in October.
Ling Zhi won a gold medal at the Pacific-Asia Junior Curling Championships in 2014 and is the team’s third, while Cheng Kuo and Wang Jingyuan play second and lead respectively.
Cao Chang and Yuan Mingjie are named as China’s mixed doubles pair for leg three, which gets under way on 30 January, and have been drawn in Group B alongside United States’ Hamilton siblings and Norway’s dream team duo Kristin Skaslien and Thomas Ulsrud.
Chang, who usually throws lead stones for Team Li Jun Zhang, hails from Beijing, while her partner Yuan was China’s skip at the VoIP Defender World Junior Curling Championships 2017 in South Korea.