Brazil and USA ready for Americas Challenge

  • Marcio Cerquinho competing at WMxCC 2016 Photo: © WCF / Alina Androsova

Brazil and USA will compete, in Duluth, Minnesota, this weekend (27-29 January) at the Americas Challenge, in pursuit of places at the 2017 World Curling Championships.

Each year 12 teams compete in both the men’s and women’s World Curling Championships (WCCs) - two from the Americas zone, eight from Europe (when the WCCs are outside of Europe) and two from the Pacific-Asia zone.

Since the inception of the world championships, the only two World Curling Federation (WCF) Member Associations to represent the Americas Zone have been Canada and USA. Brazil's men's team have challenged USA three times previously for a WCC place, while this is a first for Brazil's women's side.

Canada has already qualified for the Ford World Men's Curling Championship 2017, to be held in Edmonton, Canada (1-9 April) by finishing higher than USA at the World Men’s Curling Championship 2016 last spring in Switzerland and also by virtue of hosting this year’s world event. Canada also finished higher than USA at the Ford World Women’s Championship 2016 in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, to secure their place at the CPT World Women's Curling Championship 2017, in Beijing, China (18-26 March).

Brazil, a Member Association since 1998, will challenge USA for the second Americas berth in the men's and women's world championships. This will be the fourth Americas Challenge to take place for the men’s Americas Zone berth and first for the women’s spot. Brazil previously challenged USA in 2009, 2010 and 2015 for world berths with USA sealing its appearance in those world championships by winning the challenge each time in three straight games.

USA will be represented at the Americas Challenge by the John Shuster and Nina Roth rinks, while Brazil will send teams skipped by Marcelo Mello and Aline Goncalves to Duluth. The two sides will compete in best-of-five competitions beginning on Friday (27 January) afternoon.

Americas Challenge SCHEDULE (all times Central Standard Time):

Game one: 14:30, Friday 27 January
Game two: 19:30, Friday 27 January
Game three: 11:00, Saturday 28 January
Game four (if required): 19:00, Saturday 28 January
Game five (if required): 09:00, Sunday January

Live scoring will be available for all games via


USA women:

Nina Roth (McFarland, Wisconsin) - two-time USA women’s national champion
Tabitha Peterson (Minneapolis, Minnesota) - 2016 World Mixed Doubles bronze medalist and 2012 women’s national champion
Aileen Geving (Duluth, Minnesota) - two-time USA junior national champion
Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wisconsin) - 2014 USA women’s national champion
Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minnesota) - four-time USA junior national champion; 2016 World Junior Curling Championships silver medallist.

Coach: Ann Swisshelm (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)

Brazil women:

Aline Goncalves
Isis Oliveira - competed in World Mixed Curling Championship 2015
Allassandra Barros - competed in World Mixed Championship 2016
Anne Shibuya
Luciana Barrella - competed in World Mixed Championship 2015 and 2016

Coach: Robbie Gallaugher

USA men:

John Shuster (Superior, Wisconsin) - three-time Olympian; five-time men’s national champion
Tyler George (Duluth, Minnesota) - two-time USA men’s national champion
Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wisconsin) - 2015 men’s national champion and 2008 World Juniors gold medallist
John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minnesota) - 2014 Olympian, 2015 men’s national champion
Joe Polo (Duluth, Minnesota) - 2006 Olympic bronze medalist; five-time USA men’s national champion; 2016 World Mixed Doubles bronze medallist.

Coach: Phill Drobnick

Brazil men:

Marcelo Mello - competed in World Mixed Curling Championship 2015; three-time competitor at World Mixed Doubles Championship
Marcio Cerquinho - competed in World Mixed Curling Championship 2016
Scott McMullan - competed in past Americas Challenge
Filipe Nunes - competed in past Americas Challenge
Sergio Mitsuo

Coach: Robbie Gallaugher

Content courtesy of United States Curling Association