WMDCC 2017 gets underway with wins for defending champions and hosts

  • Russia's Aleksandr Krushelnitckii and Anastasia Bryzgalova Photos: © WCF / Richard Gray

The World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2017 got underway on Saturday (22 April) morning in the ATB Centre, in Lethbridge, Canada.

The first session of games was characterised by mixed doubles’ fast paced and unpredictable nature, that saw score lines changing hands on multiple occasions and teams winning their games with the very last stone thrown.

Then in the second session there were wins for the defending champions Russia and host nation Canada.

In the first session of round-robin play Finland were first off the ice with an 11-0, six-end win over Croatia.

2015 world champion pair, Zsolt Kiss and Dorottya Palancsa, fought back from a 1-7 deficit to level the scores 7-7 after eight ends, but it was Belarus who won the game 8-7, in an extra end.

During this session, there were also wins for Brazil, who beat Estonia 8-7; Latvia [pictured below] who won against Japan, 8-4 and Czech Republic who beat Germany 7-5.

The next session, then saw Russia pair, Anastasia Bryzgalova and Aleksandr Krushelnitckii, post a 9-4 victory over Spain. After six-ends the scores were level at 4-4, but a five-point end helped by mixed doubles curling’s *power play rule, in the seventh end, gave Russia the win.

The host nation, Canada also won, 10-4 against Turkey.

Slovenia beat New Zealand 10-4, in this session, while there were also wins for Switzerland, who beat Slovakia 9-5 and England who won against France, 8-5.

*Power play: Teams have the right to use a ’power play’ once in every game, in an end where they have last stone advantage. When a ’power play’ is being used, the pre-placed stones will be moved out to one of the sides, and placed as a corner guard and a stone behind it, with the back of the stone against the tee line.

They said it

Marcio Cerquinho; Brazil (after 8-7 win over Estonia): “I feel amazing because it’s so hard for Brazilians to be on the ice practicing – our game is soccer. For us it’s just amazing because we beat a good team and this is my third year playing curling, so for me it’s awesome.“

Santa Blumberga; Latvia (after 8-4 win over Japan): “It’s always great to start the tournament with a win, especially [because] this is our first worlds, so we’re pretty pumped now! It’s amazing – it’s the thing you expect when you come to Canada. The ice is great, the people around, and the opponent team was also amazing – it’s really an honour to play with players like that.”

Oona Kauste; Finland (after 11-0 win over Croatia): “It was really good. We got six points from the first end, so it was a pretty good start and made our game quite easy. We made five really good draws [in the first end] and our opponent couldn’t make any draws so that was the reason.”

Jure Culic; Slovenia (after 10-4 win over New Zealand): “I personally wasn’t quite satisfied with my level of play, but Ajda [Zavrtanik Drglin] came to the rescue every shot – whether it was her first shot or her last. So, she kind of saved the day.”

Anastasia Bryzgalova; Russia (after 9-4 win over Spain): “In the first ends is was a bit hard, we needed to get used to the ice, and after that it was better. We are glad that we have our staff here on the stands, these are the guys who have been working with us for the past two seasons. We are happy to have them here cheering on us."

Joanne Courtney; Canada (after 10-4 win over Turkey): I liked the ‘W’. It’s always nice to come out of the gate with a win. The goal in the first couple draws of any championship is to learn the ice, and get comfortable with what it’s doing out there because only two people are out there and there’s only two heads to figure out what’s going on.”

Results after session one: Hungary 7-8 Belarus; Estonia 7-8 Brazil; Latvia 8-4 Japan; Croatia 0-11 Finland; Czech Republic 7-5 Germany

Results after session two: New Zealand 4-10 Slovenia; Russia 9-4 Spain; Switzerland 9-5 Slovakia; England 8-5 France; Turkey 4-10 Canada

Standings: visit http://www.worldcurling.org/wmdcc2017/livescores

Curling fans around the world will be able to follow live coverage of this championship on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

Live broadcast coverage may be geo-blocked in your region. For all broadcast information visit, www.worldcurling.org/broadcast

To keep up-to-date with all the action from the WMDCC 2017, and the teams’ journey to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags: #WMDCC2017 #Roadto2018 #curling