International curling returns to Sweden when the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2019 gets underway on Saturday 16 November in the Helsingborg Ice Rinks.
This will be the 45th European Championships, and it is being sponsored by Le Gruyère AOP for the 18th time. This will be the fifth time the Swedish Curling Association has held a European Curling Championships. The previous times were in Karlstad in 2012, Ornskoldsvik in 2008, Sundsvall in 1994 and Vasteraes in 1983.
This year, a total of 26 national Member Associations will be represented. For both women and men, there will be A-Divisions of ten teams, with ten women’s teams in their B-Division, and 16 teams in the men’s B-Division, which is divided into two groups of eight.
The ten A-Division women’s teams are: Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia (qualified from last season’s B-Division), Germany, Latvia, Norway (qualified from last season’s B-Division), Russia, Scotland, Sweden and Switzerland.
- host nation Sweden is represented by the current Olympic and European champions, skipped by Anna Hasselborg
- Switzerland, skipped by Silvana Tirinzoni, are the current world champions, and took European silver last season
- Germany, skipped by Daniella Jentsch, took European bronze last season
- Estonia return to the A-Division for the first time since 2015.
The ten B-Division women’s teams are: Belarus, England, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Turkey.
The ten A-Division men’s teams are: Denmark (qualified from last season’s B-Division), England (qualified from last season’s B-Division), Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Sweden and Switzerland.
- Reigning European champion nation Scotland is represented by a new but experienced rink, skipped by Ross Paterson
- Hosts Sweden, skipped by Niklas Edin, took silver last season and are current world champions, as well as Olympic silver medallists
- Italy skip Joel Retornaz leads the team that took bronze last season, in what was the first Italian medal performance since 1979
- Netherlands skip Jaap Van Dorp will be making his ninth appearance, looking to improve on his team’s best finish – seventh in 2017.
The 16 B-Division men’s teams are:
Group A: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Slovakia, Spain and Wales.
Group B: Austria, Belarus, France, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Turkey.
Four nations qualified to compete in the B-Divisions due to performances at the 2019 C-Division Championships, held in Brasov, Romania, in April. These were: women’s winners Belarus and runners-up Slovakia, and men’s winners France and runners-up Bulgaria.
Round-robin play commences on Saturday 16 November and will continue until Thursday 21 November. The men’s semi-finals will take place in the evening of Thursday 21 November, while the women’s semi-finals will be on the afternoon of Friday 22. The bronze medals will be contested in the evening of Friday 22 November, and the finals will be staged on Saturday 24 November.
World championship qualification
From these Championships, seven women’s and men’s teams will qualify their countries for the world championships.
Scotland also qualify for the LGT World Men’s Curling Championship 2020, being held in Glasgow, Scotland from Saturday 28 March until Sunday 5 April, as hosts.
Seven women’s teams will qualify for the World Women’s Curling Championship 2020 in Prince George, Canada between Saturday 14 March and Sunday 22 March.
In addition, for both women and men, there will be four places available in the World Qualification Event 2020, which is being staged in Lohja, Finland, between Monday 13 January and Saturday 18 January.
The available European places at the World Qualification Event will be offered to the top-two non-qualified A-Division teams and both the B-Division finalists, in each gender. The Qualification Event offers two places from all the participating teams in both women’s and men’s world championships line-ups.
World Curling TV will be producing select games during the round robin and play-offs. Details of broadcasting from the championships can be found on the event website broadcast information page.