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Oestersund, Sweden to host 2012 World Junior Championships

Östersund's Z-Hallen - venue for the 2012 World Junior Curling Championships. Photo: Hakan Sundstroem

The World Curling Federation (WCF) and the Swedish Curling Association have announced that Östersund, Sweden will host the World Junior Curling Championships in 2012. The event will take place from 3-11 March 2012 in Östersund’s Z-Hallen ice hall.

“We are delighted to confirm that the World Junior Curling Championships will return to Sweden in 2012,” said World Curling Federation President, Kate Caithness. “Östersund has already proved what exceptional hosts they can be when they staged the event in 2008 and in 1999. We look forward to working with our member association the Swedish Curling Association, the local organising committee and local partners to lay on another world class event”.

“Östersund Curling Club is proud to organise the World Junior Curling Championships 2012” said Flemming Patz from the club who led the bid to host the event. “We see it as a great honour that the World Curling Federation has entrusted Östersund with these championships once more. For the third time, we will welcome the best junior curlers in the world here and we aim to make it one of the major experiences of their curling careers.”

“Our passion for curling is the driving force behind the commitment we have made to hosting this event” added Flemming. “We, and the City Council of Östersund, invite you all to share this passion and together with us create a magic event. We invite you all to come to Östersund in 2012 and share in the experience.”

“It is great news that Sweden and Östersund will host the World Junior Curling Championships for a third time. We are working hard to develop junior curling in Sweden after our Olympic successes in 2006 and 2010. Cathrine Lindahl, who retired last summer after her two Olympic gold medals, is now instructor and coach of the juniors of Östersund and her influence will be a great inspiration for all juniors coming to Östersund. The Organizing Committee of Östersund made a great job both in 2008 and 1999. With support from the Swedish Curling Association and other curling clubs the 2012 World Junior Championships in Östersund will be a success again”, said Håkan Sundström, Secretary General of the Swedish Curling Association who back in the early 1960s started his curling career as a junior in Östersund.

Östersund, the main city of central Sweden’s Jämtland region, is known as the country’s ‘Winter City’ and regularly hosts international winter sport championships.

The city has produced several top curlers over the years including three-time world champion Peja Lindholm and his team and Cathrine Lindahl who played with Anette Norberg. On the junior side, the twin brothers, Alexander and Kristian Lindström are currently competing in the Swedish junior men’s team at the 2011 World Juniors in Perth Scotland.

At the 2008 World Junior Curling Championships the USA won gold in the junior men’s event with their team led by Chris Plys. Scotland’s Eve Muirhead won the women’s gold. In 1999, it was Canada’s John Morris who won the men’s title and Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni who got the junior women’s gold.

Ten junior women’s and ten junior men’s teams will travel from all around the world to compete in the 2012 event. The competing teams will be determined on their final standings at the 2011 World Junior Curling Championship and regional qualifications which will take place in January 2012