Scottish Women Aim for Medals at World Championship
In what will be her eighth World Championship appearance, Olympic bronze medallist skip Eve Muirhead will be looking to secure Olympic qualification as well as add to her team’s medal collections at the 2017 CPT World Women’s Curling Championship, which gets underway at the Capital Gymnasium in Beijing, China on Saturday.
The Scottish Champions – skip Muirhead, third Anna Sloan, second player Vicki Adams and lead Lauren Gray, supported by alternate Kelly Schafer and coach Glen Howard – will face eleven other top national teams in a field that is full of experience. Apart from Muirhead, who took the world title in 2013, two other skips – China’s Bingyu Wang (2009) and Switzerland’s Alina Paetz (2015) – are former World Champions.
To add to the importance of this Championship, this is the last event at which points to qualify for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea will be up for grabs. The qualification process involves this Championship and last years Ford World Women’s Championship in Swift Current, Canada.
As hosts, Korea have qualified for PyeongChang, as will the seven nations with the best qualifying points tally from 2016 and 2017. The final two places on the Olympic line-up will be decided at a special WCF Olympic Qualification event, to be held in December 2017, in Pilsen, Czech Republic.
Last year’s fifth place finish by Muirhead’s team at the 2016 Worlds means that Great Britain Olympic qualification hopes are strong (Scotland teams secure Olympic qualification points for Great Britain), and a medal performance this time round will simply make that position more secure.
The twelve nations who have qualified for this year’s Championship are: Canada, hosts China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Korea, Russia, Scotland, defending Champions Switzerland, Sweden and the USA.
Starting on Saturday 18th March, there will be seventeen sessions of round-robin play until the evening of Thursday 23rd March. After this a tie-breaker will be played, if needed, to determine the top four ranked teams.
Then the Page Play-off system will be used, and eventually gold and bronze medal finals will take place on Sunday 26th March.
The Scots open their campaign on Saturday afternoon against USA and then have two games on Sunday, against Italy and Russia.
Follow the CPT World Women’s Curling Championship:
The RCCC website will feature reports and reaction after every game involving Team Scotland.
Photos © WCF / Jeffrey Au and Richard Gray