Almaty, Kazakhstan to host Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2015

The World Curling Federation (WCF) has announced today that Kazakhstan will host their first ever international curling event as they stage the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2015.

WCF President Kate Caithness was delighted to announce Almaty as host of the PACC 2015 Photo: ©WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik 2015

The Baluan Sholak Sports Palace in Almaty has been selected as the venue for next season’s Pacific-Asia Championships which will take place between 7 and 14 November. The event is open to men’s and women’s teams from the World Curling Federation’s Pacific-Asia zone and serves as a qualifier for the 2016 World Curling Championships.

Built in 1967, the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace was extensively renovated between 2009 and 2011 in preparation for the 2011 Asian Winter Games.

The 5,000 seat venue hosted the ice hockey, short track and figure skating during those Games, along with the closing ceremony.

With Almaty in the running to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, this is the latest major international sporting event to be awarded to the city, and comes ahead of the 28th Winter Universiade which takes place there in 2017.

Speaking of this announcement, WCF President Kate Caithness said: “With this being the 25th edition of the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships, we are delighted to mark this historic milestone by taking these Championships to Kazakhstan for the first time.”

She continued: “the World Curling Federation has seen terrific growth of our sport in the Pacific-Asia region in recent years and increasing opportunities for development of high level competition. With one eye on their 2022 Olympic Winter Games bid, I’m sure everyone in Almaty will be focused on delivering a first class Pacific-Asia Curling Championships later this year.”

Kazakhstan Curling Association President, Amantay Kurenbekov, added his delight at being awarded this year’s Championships. He said: “It is a great honour to host the Pacific Asia Curling Championships 2015 in the city of Almaty. Curling has grown considerably throughout Kazakhstan since we joined the World Curling Federation in 2003 and we’re sure that this event will further boost the development of the sport for years to come.”

He added: “We will be working together with the local organising committee to ensure this is an extremely enjoyable event and look forward to welcoming everyone to our country in November.”

Almaty Mayor, Akhmetzhan Yessimov, was also pleased to welcome the event to the city. He said: “Despite the fact that curling is a young and relatively new sport for us, we are taking our first steps in the development and promotion of this sport. In youth sports schools in Almaty city we launched a curling training programme several years ago. This means in a couple of years we will have more than one generation of Kazakh curlers representing our country at international curling competitions.”

He added: “In addition to hosting the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships in November, we will also be hosting a number of other sporting events over the coming years. Moreover, we have serious intention and hope of hosting the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Almaty."

Adding further support to the Championships was Ilya Urazakov, Head of Directorate of International Sports Projects of Almaty. He said: “The Pacific-Asia Curling Championships are going to be another significant step towards our Almaty Winter Universiade in 2017. This is an important test event which will help us gain vital knowledge and experience in terms of hosting major international sports events. We look forward to hosting this event and are certain that it will help draw attention to the sport of curling in Kazakhstan.”

The top two teams men’s teams from the event will qualify their Member Association’s for the World Men’s Curling Championship 2016 in Basel, Switzerland while the top two women’s teams will qualify their Member Association’s for the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2016 in Swift Current, Canada.

This will be the 25th edition of the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships, with the last edition held in Karuizawa, Japan and was won by China men and women.

Further details about all other WCF events can be found here:

About the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships (formerly the Pacific Curling Championships):

The Pacific-Asia Curling Championships are for men’s and women’s Teams from the WCF’s Pacific-Asia Zone. The winner, and if the next World Curling Championship (WCC) is being held in the Americas or the European Zone, the runner-up, also qualifies.

Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2015 Final Standings

1. China (gold and qualified for Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2015)
2. Japan (silver and qualified for Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2015)
3. Korea (bronze)
4. Australia
5. New Zealand
6. Chinese Taipei
7. Kazakhstan

1. China (gold – qualified for World Women’s Curling Championship 2015)
2. Korea (silver)
3. Japan (bronze - qualified for World Women’s Curling Championship 2015 as host)
4. New Zealand
5. Australia

More info:

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