Brazil to challenge USA for 2012 Men's World Championship berth

Brazil is set to challenge USA for 2012 Men's World Championship berth.

The Bemidji Curling Club in Bemidji, Minnesota, USA will host a challenge between the United States and Brazil on Jan. 27-29 for the final North American berth at the World Men's Curling Championship 2012 in Basel, Switzerland.

Brazil issued its third challenge against the U.S. for the berth and will get the opportunity to earn it in a best-of-five competition spread over three days in January. The Brazilians have previously challenged the U.S. for the men's world berths in 2009 and 2010 but have thus far been unsuccessful. The U.S. team for the challenge will be the defending U.S. champions, led by 2006 Olympic bronze medallist Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.).

Twelve teams compete at both the men's and women's World Curling Championships each year. Two teams represent the Americas Zone, encompassing both North and South America. Since the inception of the world championships, the only two World Curling Federation Member Associations to represent the Americas have been Canada and the United States.

Canada has qualified for the 2012 Worlds because they ranked higher at the completion of the 2011 Worlds (Canada finished first to USA's 10th place showing). Brazil, a WCF member since 1998, is challenging the U.S. for the second Americas berth in Basel.

All five Brazilian nationals - Luis Silva, Celso Kossaka, Marcelo Mello, Cesar Santos and Filipe Nunes - are currently training in Quebec, Canada, at the Lennoxville Curling Club. They'll face Fenson and his team of Shawn Rojeski (Chisholm, Minn.), Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.) and Ryan Brunt (Bemidji, Minn.). January is a busy month for U.S. teams trying to qualify for the 2012 Nationals. As a result of this and the timing of the challenge, the defending champions will earn a bye into the 2012 National Championships in February in Philadelphia.

US Curling Media Release