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The curling world is growing
Many new nations in international championships
The curling world is growing. This season there are many new nations making their first performance at international championships. The first international championships are the 2002 Pacic Curling Championships which take place in Queenstown, New Zealand November 4-10.
China, that was accepted as new member of the World Curling Federation last season will compete with both a men's and a women's team for the first time. The Chinese curlers will get competition from Australia, Korea, Japan and New Zealand in both genders and also with Chinese Taipei in the men's championships.
As earlier the Pacific teams will play for one place of each gender in the Ford World Championships in Winnipeg, Canada April 5-13, 2003.
The defending Pacific Champions are Korea of the women and Japan of the men.
If you need more information about the 2002 Pacific Championships, please try
The European Championships take nearly two weeks to play
The longest period of international curling championships will be the 2002 Le Gruyére AOC European Championships in Grindelwald, Switzerland. The official training starts on the 4th of December and from 5th to the 14th of December the championships will be played. There are two reasons why the competitors have to be away from home in nearly two weeks. First of all they will only use six sheets of ice in Grindelwald, comparing to Vierumäki in Finland last year where they used nine sheets of ice in two ice rinks. But the main reason is the growth of European curling. Three new nations will make their first performance in Grindelwald. Andorra, Latvia and Spain will play for the first time with teams of both genders. Wales has returned with a ladies team for the first time in many years. Another change is that the women's A-section will be composed of 10 teams, comparing to eight teams during the past years.
However, the seize of the European curling championships has created problems for the economy of the national associations and the competitors. During the meetings of the World Curling Federation and the European Curling Federation in Grindelwald there will be discussions how to handle the growth of international curling. The teams of the Pacific Zone want more places at the World Championships. Perhaps curling will follow the idea of ice hockey with the World Championships in A-group, B-group, C-group. Then there is no need for the zonal championships to act as qualifying competitions for the World Championships.
The draw of the 2002 European Championships is added here on an Excel-file.
The 2003 World Junior B Championships have attracted 20 teams
Also the World Junior B Championships have grown particularly since last year. The event takes place in Tarnby outside Copenhagen, Denmark from 8th to 12th of January 2003. There will be eight junior women's teams and 12 junior men's teams. Australia and New Zealand will compete for the first time with both junior men and women and Belarus will come with a junior men's team. The junior men's competition has to be divided into two groups of six teams where the two best of each group till go to the semi finals. The junior women will play a single round-robin to determine the gold, silver and bronze medallists. In both sections the two best teams are qualified for the World Junior Championships in Flims, Switzerland march 22-30, 2003.
For more information about the World Junior B Championships klick on this
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