Junior Curlers set sights on Perth World Championships

With five weeks to go to the start of the World Junior Curling Championships 2011 in Perth, Scotland, competition is heating up around the world as junior curlers set their sights on winning the chance to represent their country at the event which will take place at the Dewars Centre from 5-13 March.

Eve Muirhead at 2009 World Junior Curling Championships Photo: WCF/Andrew Klaver

In Canada, 13 junior men’s and junior women’s teams representing the Canadian provinces start their week-long junior championships this weekend in Calgary. The winning teams will be winging their way to Perth in March.

On Sunday, the US National Junior Championships get underway in Alaska with 10 men’s and 10 women’s teams taking part. Again the winners will head to Perth.

In Switzerland, the first round of the Swiss Junior Championships takes place in Bern this weekend. Reigning Junior Men’s World Champion Peter de Cruz and his team from Geneva, are among the 8 junior men’s teams looking to make it to the worlds. 8 Junior Women’s teams are also competing. The final round of the Swiss Juniors is next weekend (5-6 February) in Bern.

Among the team line-ups that are already known are home-side Scotland. Three-time World Junior Champion Eve Muirhead is back representing her country and her home town Perth after a break from the junior championships due to her Olympic appearance last season. The Scottish Junior men’s side will be led by John Penny from Aberdeen. Both won the Scottish Junior Championships earlier this month.

The World Curling Junior Championships is for 10 of the top junior men’s and women’s team from the World Curling Federation’s Americas, European and Pacific regional zones. To compete at a World Junior Championship players must be aged under 21 by the end of June of the year preceding the event. Competing nations for the World Junior Curling Championships 2011 are as follows:

Junior Men’s Teams: Scotland (SCO), Canada (CAN), China (CHN), Czech Republic (CZE), Denmark (DEN), Finland (FIN), Norway (NOR), Sweden (SWE), Switzerland (DEN), USA.

Junior Women’s Teams: Scotland (SCO), Canada (CAN), Czech Republic (CZE), France (FRA), Japan (JPN), Norway (NOR), Russia (RUS), Switzerland (SUI), Sweden (SWE), USA

Curling fans around the world will be able to watch live webstreamed coverage of selected games from the event on the WCF website – http://www.worldcurling.org Details of the features games will be announced prior to the event.

A special ‘Early Bird’ discount on ticket prices has been extended until the 10th of February 2011. For more details go to http://www.wjcc2011.com/tickets/ticket-prices

The event begins on Saturday the 5th of March with both junior men’s and junior women’s teams playing a round robin through to Thursday 10th of March. Men’s playoffs take place at 19:00 local (GMT) on Friday 11th. Women’s playoffs will be staged at 11:00 local on Saturday 12th with both men’s and women’s semi finals at 18:00. The Junior Men’s Gold and Bronze medal games take place at 09:00 local on Sunday 13th and Junior Women’s Gold and Bronze games will be at 13:00 followed by the awards ceremony.

The World Junior Curling Championships started with a Junior Men’s event in 1975, with the 1st Championship being held in East York, Ontario, Canada. The Junior Women’s World Championship began in 1988 in Chamonix, France. The Championship in Perth will be the 37th World Junior Men’s event and the 24th World Junior Women’s.

It will be the fifth time that Scotland has hosted the World Junior Curling Championships (1976 Aviemore, 1985 Perth, 1991 Glasgow and 1995 Perth).

In 1995 the event was also staged at the purpose-built curling ice facility at Dewars Centre. At the time, it was Scotland’s Tom Brewster Jr who skipped his team to win the junior men’s title. Canada’s Kelly Scott made her debut on the international curling scene by winning the junior women’s gold medal.

The 2010 World Junior Championships took place in Flims, Switzerland. Switzerland (Skip: Peter de Cruz) won gold in the junior men’s event and Sweden (Skip: Anna Hasselborg) won the junior women’s championship title.

More information about the event: http://www.wjcc2011.com/

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