Hosts complete Beijing’s Grand Final line-up
All 24 teams have now been confirmed for the Grand Final.
The Chinese Curling Association has revealed a mixture of experience and youth in the three teams which will represent the hosts in next month’s Curling World Cup Grand Final.
Team Yilun Jiang have been selected to fly the flag for China in the women’s draw as the 2018-2019 season draws to a close between 8-12 May in Beijing.
The women’s team sealed their spot in the showpiece finale by winning the Chinese national championships this past weekend (8-14 April), which was held at the same venue as the Grand Final – Shougang Arena.
The foursome competed in Suzhou under a different skip – Liu Sijia – who has decided to focus on mixed doubles in the future, with Yilun Jiang taking over the duties. This change was made prior to Jonkoping, when they defeated two-time European champions Team Anna Sidorova.
In front of a home Beijing crowd the rink will face Canada’s iconic Team Jennifer Jones, Omaha winners Team Satsuki Fujisawa from Japan and Team Nina Roth of United States in Group A.
In the men’s draw, Team Dexin Ba will compete in the capital, with Ba coming into the side as skip replacing Zou Qiang after his rink's 11th-place finish in the World Men’s Curling Championship earlier this month in Canada.
Qiang's quartet threw stones for China in Omaha, while Ba has had plenty of experience on the Curling World Cup stage, having played at two previous legs.
With a number of world-leading outfits playing, Team Ba have been drawn alongside four-time world champions Team Niklas Edin, Olympic gold medallists Team John Shuster and Jonkoping winners Team Matt Dunstone.
Young mixed doubles pairing, Cao Chang and Yuan Mingjie, will return to the Curling World Cup after their participation in leg three.
The duo has been drawn in Group A alongside Suzhou winners, Canada’s Laura Walker and Kirk Muyres, 2017 world champions Jenny Perret and Martin Rios of Switzerland and United States’ Sarah Anderson and Korey Dropkin.
The Harbin-based pairing defeated Omaha champion Kristin Skaslien and the legendary Thomas Ulsrud in Jonkoping – who went on to play in the final.