Wheelchair Curlers Miss out at World Qualifier
Scotland’s wheelchair curlers suffered disappointment losing out 9-4 to Sweden in a crucial knock-out match which saw their opponent progress to the semi finals at the World Wheelchair B Championships in Finland.
The Scots had narrowly missed out on direct qualification to the semi finals finishing on joint top points with Korea in pool A in the standings and consequently had an extra match to play in their bid reach the final and claim one of the last two qualification places for next year’s World Championship.
Scotland Wheelchair Curling Head Coach Sheila Swan said, “We were never able to apply pressure on Sweden and didn't perform at the crucial moments and overall the Swedes were the better team throughout the game.
"Moving forward we need to take time to evaluate our training and competition programme and methods, re-group and re-focus on the job in hand which is perform at a high standard on a consistent basis and get Scotland back to the World Wheelchair Curling Championship to secure Paralympic points. At times we are truly world class but unfortunately we have been unable to sustain this level of performance over any length of time which has resulted in peaks and troughs in both play and results.
She concluded, “A sustainable high level of play is now vital as there is very little difference between the teams at the world championships and those that reach the knock out stages of this qualifying event due the constantly rising standards in the game.”
Sweden met Norway in the first semi final and were beaten 10-3, which saw Norway progress to the final to meet Korea, who defeated the Czech Republic 9-3 in the other semi final. The Norwegian rink continued their dominant form as the only unbeaten rink throughout the round robin stages, defeating Korea 7-5 to win gold.
As a result of Norway and Korea taking this season’s two World Championship slots Scotland - who are the nominated points carriers for Great Britain’s bid for qualification for the 2018 Winter Paralympics– remain among the top 12 in the rankings which is where they require to be, but getting into the 2017 World Championships to protect that position is now all the more important.
Robert McPherson – Lead
Gregor Ewan – 2nd
Hugh Nibloe – Skip & 3rd
Aileen Neilson – Vice Skip & 4th
Angie Malone - Alternate