International junior curling set to return to Lohja, Finland

  • Danish Olympian and junior women’s skip, Mathilde Halse © WCF / Stephen Fisher

The first international curling event of the new year will take place in Lohja, Finland with the World Junior-B Curling Championships 2019 being held in the Kisakalio Sports Institute from 3 to 10 January.

This is the second event held in the Kisakalio Sports Institute this season after they successfully hosted the World Wheelchair-B Curling Championship 2018 in November.

This year a total of 29 Member Associations will be represented, with 21 junior women’s teams and 25 junior men’s teams competing to claim the final three places at the World Junior Curling Championships 2019 being held in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada from 16 to 23 February.

The 21 junior women’s teams, split into three groups, are:

Group A: Austria, Spain, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, Poland and Scotland
Group B: Australia, England, Estonia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan and Russia
Group C: Belarus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Slovenia and Turkey

• Denmark women are skipped by Mathilde Halse, lead for Denmark women’s team at the recent Le Gruyère AOP European championships and the Olympic Winter Games 2018 in PyeongChang
• Australia skip Tahli Gill and lead Kirby Gill also represented Australia at the recent Pacific-Asia championships held in Gangneung, South Korea
• Latvia skip, Evelina Barone helped qualify Latvia for the World Women’s Curling Championship 2019 at the Le Gruyère AOP European championships in Tallinn, Estonia in November

The 25 junior men’s teams are:

Group A: Belarus, Denmark, England, Spain, France, Korea, Netherlands, Poland and Chinese Taipei
Group B: Austria, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Russia and Slovakia
Group C: Australia, China, Finland, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Slovenia and Turkey

• Gontzal Garcia, one half of the Spanish Mixed Doubles team, skips Spain in this competition
• Turkey skip, Oguzhan Karakurt was a member of the Turkish team who finished fifth in the World Mixed Curling Championship this season in Kelowna, Canada
• Anton Hood, New Zealand’s fourth player, represented the men’s side at the recent Pacific-Asia championships in Gangneung, South Korea

Both championships will feature a round-robin stage where the top two teams from each group along with the best third place finisher will progress directly to the quarter-finals. The remaining two third placed finishers will compete in a qualification game with the winner securing the last quarter-final place. This will be followed by a semi-final stage, then bronze and gold medal games.

All games will be scheduled for eight ends and a minimum of six ends must be completed.

The round-robin stage of the competition begins on Wednesday 2 January at 20:00 with a single session of play. The final round-robin session is on Wednesday 9 January at 08:00 while the women’s qualification game will also happen at this time. This is followed later that day with the men’s qualification stage and women’s quarter-finals at 14:00, then the men’s quarter-finals that evening at 20:00.

Thursday 10 January will see the semi-finals for both competitions played at 09:00, then the championships will draw to a close with the gold and bronze medal games at 14:00.

All times are Eastern European Time (+2 hours from Universal Coordinated Time).

Follow the championships via the World Curling Federation’s event website (www.worldcurling.org/wjcc2019) and social media channels. To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media during the World Junior-B Curling Championships 2019 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #WJCC2019 #curling