TEAMS MOUAT AND MUIRHEAD PREPARE FOR FIRST CURLING WORLD CUP IN CHINA
Grand Slam winners Team Mouat and European Champions Team Muirhead will represent Scotland at the first staging of the Curling World Cup which will be hosted at Suzhou Sports Centre, Suzhou in China from 12-16 September.
Jennifer Dodds, making her debut for Team Muirhead will be skipping the rink at the inaugural event, as the team’s skip Eve Muirhead continues her rehabilitation.
Dodds, who was a member of Hannah Fleming’s Scottish Women’s Championship winning team last season is excited about the prospect of competing in the first World Cup and travelling to China for the second time in her career.
“This is going to be an amazing opportunity to play against some of the top teams in the world in the first World Cup which is great exposure for curling,” said Dodds.
“It is definitely going to be in at the deep end for this first competition but it will be a good gauge for the hard work we have been putting in over the summer. Some of things we have focused on are good communication and changing deliveries as we have adjusted to embedding the new positions and putting that into practice.
is going to be a good challenge being skip at this event, but changing the line-up temporarily means we will be very adaptable in our processes and robustness and versatility will be strengths for us moving forward.
“It will bring more knowledge into the team and more experience to the mix and whilst it will be challenging playing the best teams in the world at the very start of the season with a new line-up, we will meet those opponents many times throughout the season, so it may as well be right at the very start to provide us with more knowledge to take away, which will allow us to make the necessary adjustments, if we need to, for the following competitions,” Dodds reflected.
The World Curling Federation has introduced the new four stage tournament for men’s, women’s and mixed doubles curling and the first three events will be held in Suzhou, China (12-16 September), Omaha, USA (5-9 December), Jonkoping, Sweden (30 January – 3 February). The series will head east again for the Grand Final which will take place in Beijing, China (8-12 May) and Scottish men’s skip Bruce Mouat is hopeful his team will make s strong start in order to boost their chances of a return visit to Beijing, which will also host the Olympic Winter Games in 2022.
Mouat said:”Obviously the new World Cup provides those of us with Olympic aspirations a kind of wonderful symmetry – starting and finishing the next four year cycle in Beijing, that is after all what we are all aiming for.
“It will be a new experience for me going east. We have had to be smart about planning ahead to overcome the jet lag as soon as possible so we are ready for this event and it will be exciting to see what the exposure will be like.”
Team Mouat won bronze when they made their debut at the World Championships in Las Vegas earlier this year and their skip is anticipating similar sized crowds.
“I am guessing this new event will have more of a world champs or Grand Slam feel to it and it will be great to be in an arena so early in the season which we wouldn’t normally get to do.
“PyeongChang hosting the Olympics generated good crowds and I am hopeful that this event will also attract good support. It’s exciting to be part of this historic occasion and it will be good to say in years to come we were part of the first staging of the event and a part of that history,” he added.
The new series will feature new additions to the game, including a one-shot shoot-out to determine winners of tied games, rather than extra ends and teams will have access to coaches at ice level between ends. They will also have to adjust to having thinking time allocated to each end for the eight end matches, rather than a time allowance allocated to the whole match.
Travelling east with the teams is newly appointed British Curling National Coach David Murdoch, who said:”It is great to see a new World Cup series in the curling calendar.
“The wide range of national teams and the involvement of all three Olympic disciplines demonstrates the way in which our sport is rapidly growing and the rules reflect a recognition of the need to show flexibility and imagination to showcase curling to the widest possible audience.
“This is a very exciting time for our sport and it is vital that we embrace this opportunity from the outset,” Murdoch added.
For more information about the World Cup series, please visit the World Curling federation website. http://www.worldcurling.org/cwc-launch
Team Muirhead (line-up for China World Cup)
Vicki Chalmers (formerly Adams)
British Curling Photos - Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart.