VoIP Defender World Junior Curling Championships 2016 set for action

  • World Men's and Women's Junior Curling Championships trophies Photo: WCF /Richard Gray

The World Curling Federation's (WCF) VoIP Defender World Junior Curling Championships 2016 will be staged at the Taarnby Curling Club, on the outskirts of Copenhagen, Denmark, from this coming weekend.

For all scores, standings, live coverage, quotes and pictures during WJCC 2016 visit, www.worldcurling.org/wjcc2016

Some 18 sessions of round-robin play commence on Sunday 6 March at 09.00, with medals being played for on Sunday 14 March, at 09.00 for the Women, followed by the Men at 14.00. All times are Central European Time (CET).

The Taarnby Curling Club was built in 1978 and previously, the World Senior Curling Championships of 2006 and 2012; the 2011 and 2014 European Mixed Curling Championships; and the European Junior Curling Championships of 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2012, have all been held at this venue. 

To be eligible to play in the World Junior Championships, a player must be less than 21 years of age by the end of the 30th day of June of the year immediately preceding the year in which the championship is to take place.

Altogether ten women’s and ten men’s teams have qualified to take part, representing 12 different nations.

The ten women’s teams are: defending champions Canada, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA.

USA skip Cory Christensen will be making her fifth appearance at this event as she leads a team that includes twins Sarah and Taylor Anderson. Christensen was 17 years of age when she skipped at this event for the first time – the same age as Canada's skip this year, Mary Fay from Nova Scotia. Fay has already won this season, skipping a mixed Canadian team – that included her second player Karlee Burgess – to Gold at the recent Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.

For this year's Championships onwards, the World Curling Federation has introduced a new qualification arrangement. Instead of separate qualification events via the European Junior Curling Challenge and the Asia-Pacific Junior Curling Championships, a new World Junior-B Championships has been introduced. From this event, held in Finland in January, Russia, Japan and Hungry qualified for places in the women's field, which means a first-ever appearance at this level by Hungary, who are skipped by two-times World Mixed Doubles champion Dorottya Polansca.

Turkey is also making a first appearance at this level after qualifying as host, as the event was originally scheduled to take place there.

Under new skip Sophie Jackson, Scotland’s team includes two Silver medallists from last year – Naomi Brown and Rachel Hannen, and while Russia's skip Uliana Vasilyeva returns with a new team, Japan, Korea, Sweden and Switzerland are all represented by new line-ups this year.

The ten men’s teams involved this year are: defending champions Canada, Denmark, Korea, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA.

Canada's skip Matt Dunstone returns to these Championships for a third time, having skipped to a Bronze medal in 2013 and acted as alternate in 2014. Scotland's skip Bruce Mouat won Bronze last year with a team that included his current third player Bobby Lammie.

USA skip Korey Dropkin will be making a fourth World Junior appearance, while Russia, who won the men's division of the World Junior-B Championships (WJBCC) to qualify for this event, and their skip for this year, Timur Gadzhikhanov, returns from last year's line-up. Denmark and Korea also qualified from the WJBCC men's event.

Rasmus Wranaa returns to the World Juniors as skip of the Swedish team, while Norway's team includes skip Magnus Ramsfjell and third player Bendik Ramsfjell, the latest members of a well-known curling family to gain international representation. The 2015 Silver medal winning Swiss team and 2014 champions, skipped by Yannick Schwaller, travel to this event with the same team line-up.

As is the case for their women, Turkey's men are making their first appearance at this level.

The round-robin section of these Championships concludes on Friday 11 March. Thereafter, tie-breakers will be held if needed to establish the top four teams in each gender.

In addition, Sportsmanship Awards are presented at the closing ceremony to a junior man and woman selected by their peers as those ‘who exemplify the traditional values of skill, honesty, fair play, sportsmanship and friendship in the world of curling.’

Curling fans around the world will be able to follow live coverage of the Championships on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV