Meier motivated ahead of Omaha leg
Switzerland's representatives for Omaha ready for the challenge.
Team Yannick Schwaller second, Romano Meier, says competing in Omaha is “a big boost for our motivation“ after the blow of missing out on qualification for the European Championships.
Team Schwaller were edged out by just 12 world ranking points to Team Peter de Cruz in a race to represent Switzerland at this week’s Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships. As a result, Schwaller’s rink were granted a spot at the second leg of the Curling World Cup instead.
“At first, we were quite a bit disappointed missing out on one of our big goals this season,” admitted Meier. “But we watched the first part of the Curling World Cup and it looks like a huge show for our sport, so it is very exciting to be a part of it.
“Knowing we can represent Switzerland in Omaha is a big boost for our motivation to head into every practice session.”
The Curling World Cup has introduced new rule changes – which were in play during the first leg in Suzhou - and Meier believes the format can attract new people to the sport.
One key alteration sees teams in the women's and men's competitions having four minutes' allocated think time for each end from ends one to four and four minutes 15 seconds from ends five to eight. In mixed doubles there will be two minutes 50 seconds and three minutes respectively.
“We heard about it and talked with our national coach briefly about it,” said the 23-year-old. “I think it’s a good thing for all the fans and especially for new people to the sport, so that the games don’t get too long.”
5th place finish at the @DekalbSS after a loss to @TeamMDunstone in the quarters. Congratulations on the trophy btw. Thanks to Morris + the volunteers, who put together a great tournament! Now we head back to Switzerland for some practice before the @curlingworldcup in December. pic.twitter.com/SQaYuu8enP— Team Bern Schwaller (@BernSchwaller) November 6, 2018
Omaha will mark the first time the Swiss rink will compete in the United States but it will be far from plain sailing having been drawn alongside two world champions in Team Niklas Edin and Team Thomas Ulsrud.
“At such a good event as the World Cup series you can't expect any easy games. We’re in an interesting group, but we're confident that we’ll get our chances and we’ll do everything to be ready when they come.
“We have never been to Omaha. Actually, we’ve never been curling in the United States before, so this will be a thing to tick off the bucket list as well,” added Meier.
“We’re looking forward to play in the arena, as we’re hoping for a big crowd to cheer on the teams. I don't know what there is to see in Omaha, but I’m sure we’ll be taken good care of.”