CURLING: World Mixed Doubles & World Seniors

Following the recent success story that was both the Women’s and Men’s World
Curling Championships, next it is the Mixed Doubles and World Seniors
Championships to be decided in the United States, April 17-23. The Irish
team will be hoping for some good performances in the World Seniors event
though we have no competitors in the Mixed Doubles . The Irish Curling
Association has announced the following teams for the Minnesota event.

Senior Men: Peter J Wilson, David Whyte, Tony Tierney &
David Hume

Senior Women: Marie O’Kane, Carolyn Hibberd, Louise Kerr,
Gillian Drury & Christina Graham

Coach: JohnJo Kenny

At a time when many Irish sporting organisations are losing sponsorship it
is encouraging to note that the Irish Curling Association has found a new
sponsor for these events. The I.C. A are a delighted that Albert Bartlett
has agreed to sponsor the Senior teams in Minnesota. They have Irish
connections through one of their partner companies, Irish Potato Marketing
and the ICA ‘ feel privileged that they should find the sport of curling to
be one that fits their ethos of promoting healthy eating and naturally grown
potatoes’ . ‘Our teams are proud to carry the Albert Bartlett logo on their
shirts in their quest for medals in Minnesota’.

And so the final World Curling Federation (WCF) championships of the
2010-2011 season get underway on Sunday 17 April when Saint Paul, Minnesota,
USA plays host to the 2011 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship and the
2011 World Seniors Curling Championships.

The two events will run until Saturday 23 April and will be staged
simultaneously in the historic eight-sheeter St Paul Curling Club which was
originally founded in 1888 and is currently the largest curling club in the
United States.

The Mixed Doubles World Curling Championship is now into its fourth year,
having been inaugurated in Vierumaki, Finland in 2008 and then held in
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy in 2009 and last year in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

Instead of playing in teams of four, mixed doubles curling is for teams of
two players – one male and one female (no alternate/spare player is
– The game is played on the same sheets of ice as “traditional”
– Teams have only six stones each (instead of eight) – and one of
those stones, from each team, is prepositioned on the centreline before each
end of play starts.
– Player one delivers the first and last stones and player two plays
the second, third and fourth stones. If they choose to, the two players may
swap positions from one end to the next.
– Sweeping can be done by both team members.
– Each team receives 46 minutes of playing time and games are fixed at
8 ends – compared to 73 minutes and 10 ends for “traditional” curling.

Altogether 24 nations will participate in the Mixed Doubles event in St
Paul: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, England,
Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, New Zealand,
Norway, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and hosts

Among the competitors this year are Bridget and Sean Becker of New Zealand,
the sister and brother team who took silver in Chelyabinsk last year. György
Nagy and Ildiko Szekeres return to represent Hungary after taking silver in
2009. And the Spanish duo, Sergio Vez and Irantzu Garcia, will be hoping to
improve on their fourth place finish in Russia last year after they lost the
bronze medal game to China.

For this Championship, the 24 Mixed Doubles teams have been divided into
three groups. Each group will play a round robin before quarterfinals on
Friday 22 and semi-finals and medal games on Saturday 23.

This is the tenth edition of formally-sanctioned WCF World Senior Curling
Championships. Altogether 21 senior men’s teams and eleven senior women’s
teams will be competing in games that are limited to eight-ends. To be
eligible to play in the senior championships players must not be less than
50 years of age by the end of the 30th day of June of the year immediately
preceding the year in which the WSCC is to take place.

The nations represented in the men’s event are: Australia, Canada, Czech
Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland,
Italy, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, Sweden,
Switzerland, USA and Wales. The senior men will play in the same competition
format as the Mixed Doubles.

The nations involved in the women’s event are: Canada, Czech Republic,
England, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland
and USA. These eleven teams will be in one group and will play a single
round-robin series.

As with the Mixed Doubles – quarterfinals for the seniors will take place on
Friday 22 with semi-finals and medal games being staged on Saturday 23.

Last year’s Mixed Doubles and Senior World Championships in Chelyabinsk,
Russia, were affected by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud with a number of
teams not being able to make it to compete in the events.

Russia (Yana Nekrasova and Petr Dron) won the 2010 mixed doubles world
championship title with New Zealand (Bridget and Sean Becker) taking silver
and China (Zhipeng Zhang and Yue Sun) winning bronze.

USA (skip Paul Pustovar) won the senior men’s title, Canada (skip Bruce
Delaney) took silver and Australia (skip Hugh Millikin) won bronze.

Canada (skip Colleen Pinkney) won the senior women’s gold medal, Switzerland
(skip Renate Nedkoff) took silver and Sweden (skip Ingrid Meldahl) won


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