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WCF Press release 

23 March 2002

World Curling Champions return to Women's Ford Worlds

An information  Release from the Bismarck Host Committee - 2002 Ford World Curling Championships

Colleen Jones of Canada, winner of the Ford World Curling Championship for Women a year ago in Lausanne Switzerland, will return to defend her title at this year's Ford Worlds in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Two-time World Champion Dordi Nordby of Norway, who won back to back titles in 1990 and 1991, will also be competing in Bismarck.

Jones, who has won three of the past four Canadian Championships, will be competing in her fourth World Championship. Nordby will be playing in her 14th World Championship.

Chasing the first ever Ford World Curling Championship for a United States Women's team, Patti Lank and her team representing the Madison Curling Club, Madison, Wisconsin are considered a strong bet for a podium finish in Bismarck. Lank, who is originally from Midvale, Saskatchewan, Canada, previously represented the United States at the Ford Worlds in 1999 and captured the Silver Medal.

In addition to Nordby, three other teams competing at the Ford Worlds were also in Salt Lake City for the 2002 Olympics. Russia's Olga Jarkova, Denmark's Lene Bidstrup, and Germany's Natalie Nessler are all competing on American soil for the second time in a two month period.  Bidstrup and Nessler both competed in the Ford Worlds in 2001. This will be Bidstrup's fifth World Championship appearance and Nessler's seventh.

Jarkova played third for Russia when they made their first ever appearance by a Russian team at the Ford World Curling Championships a year ago. This year, Korea's Mi-Yeon Kim is skipping the first ever entry from her country in a Ford World Curling Championship.

The skips of two other teams, Scotland and Switzerland, also have world Championship experience. Jackie Lockhart was skip of her national entry in 1992 and was a front end player at the 1998 Ford Worlds. Switzerland's Manuela Kormann played third for her country's 1997 entry. Maria Engholm, skip of Sweden's entry in Bismarck is making her first appearance at the Ford World Curling Championship .

Women's play begins with a 7:30am draw on Saturday, April 6 at the Bismarck Civic Center. The round-robin competition ends Thursday morning with semifinals on Friday, April 12 and the Gold Medal games on Saturday, April 13.

Information about the Ford Worlds in Bismarck is available on the Host Committee website - www.wcc2002.org.  Tickets are available through TicketMaster at 701-222-2121.  Hotel information is available by calling 1-800-767-3555.  Miscellaneous questions in regard to the event and related activities may be referred to 1-866-275-CURL(2875).

Media may contact: Jon Mielke - Host Committee Chair (701-328-4082)


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