World Wheelchair-B Curling Championship begins Friday

  • Team Finland Photo © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

The second ever World Wheelchair-B Curling Championship (WWhBCC) will begin this weekend (4–10 November) in Lohja, Finland, with a record 16 teams taking part.

The Kisakallio Sports Institute will play host to the event for a second year.

The teams taking part are split into two groups:

Group A: England, Israel, Italy, Scotland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden and newcomers Turkey.

Group B: Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Japan, Latvia, Poland and debutants Chinese Taipei.

The teams will compete for the two remaining spots in the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2017 (WWhCC) taking place in PyeongChang, Korea next year (4–11 March 2017).

Chinese Taipei and Turkey are making their wheelchair curling debuts in this event, also competing are Slovakia and Finland, who were both relegated from the 2016 WWhCC in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Host nation, Finland, are led by WWhCC 2015 bronze medalist Markku Karjalainen, and include Yrjo Jaaskelainen (third), Sari Karjalainen (second), Vesa Leppanen (lead) and Riitta Sarosalo (alternate).

The championship also sees Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games bronze medalist Aileen Neilson lead her Scotland team featuring Gregor Ewan (third), Hugh Nibloe (second), Robert McPherson (lead) and Angie Malone (alternate).

Both groups will play a round-robin stage beginning on Friday 4 November, with the top three teams from each group proceeding to the play-off stages. If required, teams will play one round of tie-breakers at 14.00 on Wednesday 9 November, to determine the final rankings. The top ranked team from each group will progress directly to the semi-finals taking place at 09.30 on Thursday 10 November. The second and third placed teams will play a qualification round at 18.30 on Wednesday 9 November for the remaining semi-final places.

The semi-final winners will qualify for the WWhCC 2017 and play for the gold medals, while the semi-final losers will compete for bronze medals. Both medal games take place at 14.30 on Thursday 10 November.

The WWhBCC is an open entry event. Any World Curling Federation (WCF) Member Association not already qualified for the WWhCC 2017 can enter a team. Teams must be comprised of both male and female players.

The WWhCC 2017 is the last qualification event for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, to be held in PyeongChang, Korea (9-18 March).

To keep up-to-date with all the action from the WWhBCC 2016, and the teams’ journey to the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags: #WWhCC2017 #Roadto2018 #curling