Scots Set For German Masters and Glynhill Ladies International
Scotland’s top curling teams are this week competing in their last events before the Scottish Championships, the event that determines which teams will represent Scotland at the world championships.
Olympic silver medallists Team Murdoch hope to successfully defend their title at the Curling Champions Tour (CCT) German Masters in Hamburg (19-22 January 2017) as they continue to chase qualifying points to maintain their position as the top ranked Scottish team on the world curling tour order of merit.
“This weekend sees the last tour event before the Scottish Championships next month, so we are looking to replicate the performance that brought us the German Masters title last year,” said skip David Murdoch.
“The field is exceptionally strong again, so it will make for some tough games throughout with all teams looking to return to their respective countries and national championships in good form.
Three other Scottish teams are among the high calibre field, comprising Team Smith, World Junior Champions Team Mouat and Team Brewster, winners of their last two CCT events, the Karuizawa International in Japan and more recently, the Perth Masters.
Skip Tom Brewster, who is also manager of Curl Aberdeen ice rink said: “I have been busy preparing for the Scottish Juniors in Curl Aberdeen this week and now that is underway it will be nice to be back on the road again competing with the team.
“We will take a lot of confidence heading in to the German Masters this week. It feels like the team has stepped up a level at every event we have played in since the Europeans which is a result of extra work and attention to detail.
“The Scottish Champs are on the horizon and will come around fast enough so I never try to look ahead too much, preferring to concentrate more on the task at hand, so we are focused solely on this event just now. Hamburg always has a strong field and is well organised. We struggled with the ice conditions last year so our main focus will be getting to grips with how it plays this year.”
Scotland’s leading women will be competing on home ice this week in the 10th Glynhill Ladies International Championships (19-22 January) hosted at Intu Braehead this week, which has attracted a strong international field. Scotland is represented by four rinks in the event, Olympic bronze medallists Team Muirhead, Team Fleming, Team Hazel Smith and Team Aitken.
Skip Eve Muirhead is delighted to be returning to this event, having missed the 2016 tournament due to the team being committed to competing abroad last year.
“We are really looking forward to competing on home soil! It makes a change that we don’t have to pack a suitcase and can enjoy a drive rather than a flight to a competition,” she said.
“The field this year is great ... all the top teams on the competitive circuit. This will make for a great championships and top class curling.
The stellar line up includes world champions Bingyu Wang from China, Russia’s Team Moiseeva who won the European Championships at Braehead Arena in November and Olympic silver medallists Sweden’s Team Sigfridsson as well as Swiss rinks Team Paetz who won last weekend’s Bernese Ladies Cup and Team Tirinzoni who will be defending their title this week.
Muirhead added: “It’s really important for us to support home events such as the Glynhill and hopefully we will get a few supporters throughout the week as it is not often that such a world class field is assembled in Scotland on so many people’s doorsteps.”
Team Fleming’s skip Hannah concluded: “This is our last tour event before the Scottish Championships and with such a strong field this will be a great chance for us to build on the momentum from last year into 2017. We were pleased to get into the quarter finals at Bern last weekend and we will be aiming to be in the play-off stages here at Glynhill with some home support.”
Please click here for results from the German Masters
Please click here for results from the Glynhill Ladies International Championships
Photos: Perthshire Picture Agency, Graeme Hart.