For two World Junior teams the journey continues

  • Norway’s Magnus Ramsfjell calls line at the World Junior Curling Championships © WCF / Richard Gray

For most of the teams taking part, the World Junior Curling Championships, staged in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada, might well be considered as the highlight of their season, but for two – Norway men and Korea women – these Championships are a staging post to even more curling action.

Both of these teams have been selected to represent their countries on the biggest stage of all this season. For Norway, that is the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Championship in Lethbridge, Canada and for the Koreans it is the LGT World Women’s Championship in Silkeborg, Denmark.

To get their ticket to Lethbridge, the Norwegian men had to win their national championships and that they did, beating the team led by former world champion Thomas Ulsrud in the final.

Norway skip Magnus Ramsfjell was as surprised as anyone else when he learned that his team had been selected. He explained, “it was unexpected that we won the national championships. We were quite high in the Norwegian standings, and we had a tough group, but we got through to beat Team Ulsrud in the final – Thomas wasn’t pleased!”

Ramsfjell added, “it’s just barely sunk in. It was always going to be super-awesome to play here in Liverpool at the juniors but then to get the message that we were going to Lethbridge was just amazing. Right now, we’ve taking it all in and now we’re preparing.”

“I think maybe we’re playing better here because we know we’re going to Lethbridge, that’s what happened at our nationals when we knew we were coming here [to Liverpool].”

For Minji Kim and her Korean team this was always going to be a busy season. They played in and won the Pacific-Asia Championships on home ice in Gangneung and have played in all three legs of the Curling World Cup as well as being set to play in the Curling World Cup grand final in Beijing in May, not to mention taking part in the Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Now, one week after the Universiade, they are adding an appearance in their first world championships to their competition diary.

Speaking about her team’s packed programme skip Minji Kim [pictured above, © WCF / Richard Gray] says, “there are so many teams at each event, and we know it’s not common that one team participates in such a variety of events. But I always say, these will be big opportunities to shine bright as a team. We can learn and learn.”

Kim believes experience at the World Juniors will help her team at the World Women’s Championship she says, “there are a lot of strong teams here at the Juniors so we can learn what we didn’t know before to make us better. We will have more experience from this event to be in better form at the World Women’s and hopefully have better results there.”

No matter how they perform, Team Norway and Team Korea will both have earned a good break and rest in the summer.

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