World Junior Curling Championships return to Canada

  • Canadian skip, Tyler Tardi returns to defend his title © WCF / Emile Gareev

The World Junior Curling Championships return to Canada for the first time in a decade when the 2019 event gets underway at the Queens Place Emera Centre in Liverpool, Nova Scotia on Saturday 16 February.

Featuring ten each of the top women’s and men’s teams in the world, representing 13 national Member Associations, this will be the 44th edition of the world junior championships and the 19th time that Canada has acted as host – the last time was the World Junior Curling Championships 2009 in Vancouver, which acted as a test event for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The championships were last staged in Nova Scotia in 1986, when Dartmouth hosted.

To be eligible to play in the world junior championships, a player must be less than 21 years of age by the end of the 30 June of the year immediately preceding the year in which the championships are to take place.

Canada won both titles last year and with them being allocated the host spot in both the women’s and men’s events, the top six other finishers in last year’s championships, held in Aberdeen, Scotland, qualified for this year. The final three places were gained at the World Junior-B Curling Championships 2019, which were staged in Lohja, Finland, last month.

The line-ups are:

Korean skip, Minji Kim © WCF / Céline Stucki
Women

Host: Canada

Qualified from World Junior Curling Championships 2018 (in ranking order): Sweden, China, Norway, United States, Korea and Switzerland.

Qualified from World Junior-B Curling Championships 2019 (in ranking order): Scotland, Russia and Japan.

In the women’s event:
• Defending champions Canada are represented by skip Selena Sturmay and her team, making their debut at this level.
• Current Olympic gold medallist Jennie Waahlin will play second stones for Sweden – uniquely, she took part in four championships last season (European, Olympic Games, World Juniors, World Women’s).
• Three skips return from last year’s event – Korea’s Minji Kim, Russia’s Vlada Rumiantseva and Norway’s Maia Ramsjfell.
• The Korean team won the third leg of the Curling World Cup in Jonkoping, Sweden earlier this month.

New Zealand skip, Matthew Neilson © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik
Men

Host: Canada

Qualified from World Junior Curling Championships 2018 (in ranking order): Scotland, Switzerland, United States, Germany, Norway and Sweden.

Qualified from World Junior-B Curling Championships 2019 (in ranking order): New Zealand, Italy and China.

In the men’s event:
• Canada’s skip Tyler Tardi returns to defend the title he won last year.
• Scotland’s 2018 silver medallist skip Ross Whyte returns with a new team.
• New Zealand – skipped by Matthew Neilson – are making a first-ever appearance at the World Juniors.
• United States, under skip Andrew Stopera, will be looking to improve on last year’s fourth position.
• Two other skips return from last year – Sixten Totzek from Germany and Norway’s Magnus Ramsjfell.

Competition begins on Saturday 16 February with the first of 18 sessions of round-robin play that will determine the top-four rankings. After this both women’s and men’s semi-finals will take place on the evening of Friday 22 February, with the medal games being staged on Saturday 23 February.

In addition to the awarding of gold, silver and bronze medals, every year all the players vote in the women’s and men’s Sportsmanship Awards, for the player of their own gender who best exemplifies the spirit of curling.

The championships will be broadcast live on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube channel. A full playlist of the games being broadcast can be found at http://www.wcf.co/wjcc2019live

To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media in the build to and during the World Junior Curling Championships 2019 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@WorldCurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #WJCC2019 #curling