Prague ready to host 2011 World Wheelchair Curling Championship

The 2011 World Wheelchair Curling Championship gets underway on Tuesday 22nd February at the Curling Hall Roztyly, in the Czech Capital Prague.

Ten mixed national teams will compete in this the seventh edition of the World Wheelchair Curling Championship since its inauguration in Sursee, Switzerland in 2002.

Canada go into this event as defending champions, having won the last world championship in 2009. With wheelchair curling being part of the Paralympic Winter Games since Turin 2006, no wheelchair world championship is held in a Paralympic year. (Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010).

The 2009 world champions, led by Jim Armstrong and with one personnel change, went on to take gold at the Paralympics in Vancouver. They will represent Canada again in Prague.

The Chinese and Russian teams are taking part following their first and second place finishes at this season’s qualifying event, held in Lohja, Finland last November.

Korea took Paralympic silver last year, but the team for Prague is a new line up. Team Sweden, the Paralympic bronze medallists and 2009 world silver medallists, sees Jalle Jungnell moving from skip to coach.

USA also have a team based largely on their Paralympic Winter Games squad, as does Scotland, with three team members having represented Great Britain last year in Vancouver, including Aileen Neilson, the only female skip in the field.

The Czech team, led by Radek Pokorný, qualify as hosts, and the line-up is completed by Germany, where Marcus Sieger has taken up position of skip since Vancouver, and Norway, skipped by two times world champion Rune Lorentsen.

Wheelchair curling is similar in many ways to its able-bodied parent game, except that no sweeping takes place, and each game consists of eight instead of ten ends.

Round-robin play starts on Tuesday 22nd, with the medals being decided a week later.

Performances in Prague will be the first to generate qualifying points for the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

More information including results, photos and LIVE webcams from the Curling Hall Roztyly can be found on the official website for the event: http://curling2011.ic.cz/

Results will be posted here: http://www.curling.cz/vysledky/a_aktual.php

Daily updates will also be available on the WCF website:

http://www.worldcurling.org/world-wheelchair-curling-championship-2011