Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2017 ready to go down under

  • Hugh Millikin and Helen Williams will skip Australia's teams Photo: © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

International curling heads to warmer climates this week, when the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2017 begin in Erina, Australia.

The event, which runs from 2 to 9 November at the Erina Ice Arena – and which will be broadcasted on World Curling TV and national broadcasters – has 15 teams representing nine of the World Curling Federation’s Pacific-Asia Member Associations.

On the men’s side, hosts Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, defending champions Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, New Zealand and Qatar will compete. On the women’s side hosts Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, defending champions Korea and New Zealand will have teams turning out.
 
In a change from previous years, three teams – all the medal winners – will qualify from the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2017 to the 2018 World Curling Championships. In the past, only two teams in total have progressed. This season, the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship takes place in North Bay, Ontario, Canada (17-25 March) and the World Men’s Curling Championship takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States (31 March-8 April).
 
The event, in Erina, begins on Thursday 2 November with the first session of men’s round-robin games at 18:30. In that session the hosts, Australia will play Hong Kong, while the defending champions Japan meet Chinese Taipei. Korea will play Kazakhstan and New Zealand will go head-to-head with China.
 
The first full women’s session will be at 14:00 on Friday 3 November. During that draw the 2016 gold medallists, Korea, will meet New Zealand; the hosts, Australia will take on Hong Kong and China will face Japan. Japan and Korea will go play each other at 09:00 that day too. The women’s teams will play a double round-robin, while the men play a single round-robin.
 
After the round-robin, the top four teams in the women’s and men’s championships will progress to knock-out semi-finals. The top ranked teams will play the fourth ranked teams and the second ranked teams will go head-to-head with the third ranked teams. The women’s semi-finals are at 14:00 on Wednesday 8 November, while the men’s semi-finals are at 19:00 that day.
 
The event will finish on Thursday 9 November, with the women’s gold and bronze medal finals at 09:00 and then the men’s gold and bronze medal finals at 14:00. All times are Australian Eastern Daylight Time (+11 Greenwich Mean Time).
 
A number of the teams competing in Erina, will be using this event as vital preparation for next [8-25] February’s PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, in Republic of Korea. Already selected for the Games and this event are Korea’s women’s and men’s teams skipped by EunJung Kim and ChangMin Kim, respectively. Also, Japan women are led by Satsuki Fujisawa and leading Japan men is Yusuke Morozumi.

Helen Williams skips the hosts’ women’s team for the first time, at these championships, since 2005.
Meanwhile, on the men’s Australian team Hugh Millikin will take charge of his curlers for the 24th time at these championships.
 
The rest of the women’s skips are China’s Yilun Jiang; Hong Kong’s Ling-Yue Hung and New Zealand’s Bridget Becker. The remaining men’s skips are China’s Dejia Zou; Hong Kong’s Jason Chang; Kazakhstan’s Viktor Kim; New Zealand’s Sean Becker and Qatar’s Nabeel Alyafei.
 
Curling fans around the world will be able to follow live coverage of these championships via the World Curling Federation’s broadcast Partners in China (CCTV), New Zealand (Sky), Japan (NTV), United States (NBC) and the Olympic Channel. Coverage will also be available on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel, www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

To keep up-to-date with all the action from these championships, and the teams’ journey to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags: #PACC2017 #Roadto2018 #curling