Asian Winter Games return to Sapporo for the third time

International curling returns to Sapporo, in Hokkaido, Japan, when the 8th Asian Winter Games begin on Saturday (18 February) in the Sapporo Curling Stadium.

Sapporo is the fourth largest city in Japan, the largest on the northern island of Hokkaido and played host to the 1972 Olympic Winter Games, the first ever held in Asia as well as the first ever Asian Winter games in 1986. The city most recently hosted the 2015 Zen-Noh World Women’s Curling Championship.

The curling competition will comprise of a round robin, tie-breakers (if required) semi-finals and gold and bronze medal finals for both women’s and men’s teams.

The five women’s teams are China, hosts Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea and Qatar.

The six men’s teams are China, Chinese Taipei, hosts Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea and Qatar.

The games will feature all six of the medal winning teams from the recent 2016 Pacific-Asia Curling Championships (PACC) held in Uiseong, Korea.

In the men’s competition, PACC 2016 gold medallists, Japan, are skipped by Yusuke Morozumi with the team being completed with third, Tetsuro Shimizu; second, Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi; lead, Kosuke Morozumi and alternate, Kohsuke Hirata.

In the women’s competition, PACC 2016 silver medallists, China are skipped by Olympic bronze medallist Bingyu Wang, a two time bronze medal winner at the Asian Winter Games (2003 as alternate and 2007 as skip). Wang’s China team are completed by third, Rui Wang; second, Jinli Liu; lead, Yan Zhou and alternate, Ying Yang.

The round robin begins at 09.00 on Saturday 18 February and runs until 18.00 on Tuesday 21 February. Tie-breakers will be held at 09.00 Wednesday 22 February, if required. The men’s semi-finals take place at 13.30 Wednesday 22 February with the women’s semi-finals taking place later the same day at 18.00.

The bronze medal games for both men and women take place on Thursday 23 February with the men’s game being played at 13.30 and the women’s game at 18.00.

The event concludes on Friday 24 February with the men’s gold medal games at 13.30 followed by the women’s gold medal game at 18.00. All times are Japan Standard time, nine hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time.

The Games are an international multi-sport event run by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to develop winter sports within its area of coverage. The OCA has 45 member countries and regions in Asia. The games host 11 sporting disciplines, alpine skiing, biathlon, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle skiing, ice hockey, short track speed skating, ski jumping, snowboard and speed skating.

For more information and results from the 2017 Sapporo Asian Winter Games visit, www.sapporo2017.org/index-en.html

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