Groups revealed for Curling World Cup Grand Final
Huge clashes in prospect in inaugural Grand Final at Shougang Arena
The Curling World Cup Grand Final groups have been announced and have produced some mouth-watering match-ups as teams do battle for the inaugural titles.
The showpiece event takes place on 8 – 12 May in Beijing's Shougang Arena and will see the inaugural Curling World Cup champions crowned.
Competing in China’s capital with $USD 280,000 in the prize pot will be eight Olympic medal-winning teams - including three gold medal winners – and dozens of world championship medallists.
Former Olympic champions and last year’s world champions Team Jennifer Jones – who have filled in for Suzhou winners Team Rachel Homan - have been drawn in Group A and will look to make the perfect Curling World Cup debut in China.
The Canadian team will be joined by the Omaha leg winners and Olympic bronze medallists Team Satsuki Fujisawa and two-time United States champions, Team Nina Roth. China, whose line-up has yet to be announced, will complete the group.
A number of intriguing encounters are set to take place in Group B, including a rematch of the final in Jonkoping – Korea's Team Minji Kim and Sweden’s Olympic champions, Team Anna Hasselborg.
Also, in the same pool are Team Anna Sidorova of Russia, with the last spot taken by Switzerland’s Team Silvana Tirinzoni, who qualify by virtue of their victory in the recent LGT World Women’s Curling Championship in Denmark.
Another Jonkoping final rematch will take place in the men’s round-robin phase with the 2018 world champions, Team Niklas Edin, and leg-three winners, Team Matt Dunstone, being drawn together in Group A.
Olympic champions, Team John Shuster, will also mix it up in Group A and enjoy an Omaha final reunion against Team Edin. China are drawn alongside the trio of rinks and will have a home crowd backing them all the way.
Team Kevin Koe will return to the Curling World Cup arena in Group B after their terrific success in Suzhou. The recent Tim Hortons Brier champions will be joined by Norway’s Team Thomas Ulsrud in what will be their last ever event after more than a decade together – back in the city where they captured their world title five years ago.
There’s a place reserved for the world champions – the identity of
which will be decided at April’s World Men’s Curling Championship in
Canada. Scotland’s Team Ross Paterson complete Group B.
World champions Michele Jaeggi and Sven Michel will join the North American pairs after they announced their entry, while hosts China complete the pool.
Olympic bronze medallists and winners in Omaha, Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten, will be accompanied by Switzerland’s Jenny Perret and Martin Rios in Group B.
Also in Group B are young Canadian duo Kadriana Sahaidak and Colton Lott, winners of leg three, and Russians Maria Komarova and Daniil Goriachev.
A TV schedule will be released in the coming weeks alongside previews of the most exciting head-to-heads to keep an eye out for in Beijing.