Capital One World Men’s Championship begins Saturday in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

The Capital One World Men’s Curling Championship gets underway this Saturday at the Olympic Ice Stadium in Cortina in the Italian Dolomites.

It is the first time that a World Men’s Curling Championship has been staged in Italy. In 2009 Cortina hosted the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship at the Ice Stadium which hosted the 1956 Olympic Winter Games.

Twelve teams from around the world are set to compete in the nine day competition: Host nation Italy, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

Five of the team line ups for Cortina are the same as those that represented their nations at the Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. They include: Olympic silver medallists from Norway Thomas Ulsrud and his team, Germany’s Andreas Kapp, France’s Thomas Dufour, China’s Fengchun Wang and Ulrik Schmidt’s team from Denmark.

Bronze medallist from Turin, the USA’s Pete Fensen returns to the World Championship stage after winning the US nationals. The Japanese will be led by Makoto Tsuruga who skipped Japan to a 5th place finish at the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano in 1998.

Canada will be represented by Kevin Koe who makes his first appearance at a Men’s World Championship after beating Glenn Howard in the final of the Canadian National Men’s Championship – The Brier - at the beginning of March.

The reigning world men’s champion is Scotland. David Murdoch and his team who won gold in Moncton Canada last year, were defeated by Warwick Smith in the 2010 Scottish Nationals. Murdoch comes to Cortina as alternate for Smith’s team.

Sweden is represented by Per Carlsen who beat European Champion Niklas Edin in the Swedish nationals for the place in Cortina. The Swiss team will be led by Stefan Karnusian and Joel Retornaz skip the Italian host nation team.

The opening ceremony takes place at 17:30 (local/CEST) on Friday 2nd with the first draw of the round robin getting underway at 14:00 on Saturday 3rd. Round robin play continues through to Thursday 8th. Playoffs will be staged on Friday evening at 19:00 and Saturday morning at 10:00. The semi-final takes place on Saturday at 16:30. The Bronze medal game is set for 10:00 on Sunday 11th with the final/gold medal game taking place in the afternoon at 16:00.

World Curling TV, the television-making arm of the World Curling Federation, will be onsite producing extensive live coverage, news highlights and live web-streaming from the event.

In Europe, Eurosport will air live coverage throughout the championship and stream additional live games onto the Eurosport Player. In Canada, web-streamed coverage of the round robin stages of the event will be available on with live coverage on TSN of the semi final and final. In the United States, coverage will be available on Universal Sports (TV & Web). In China, CCTV5 will broadcast full-length coverage of games. Coverage from the event will also be shown on TV Globo in Brazil.