World Men’s Curling Championship 2012 starts Saturday

The international curling championship focus moves to Switzerland, as Basel prepares to host the World Men’s Curling Championship 2012, presented by Ford Motor Company of Canada, from Saturday March 31 and runs until Sunday April 8. Twelve of the top men’s curling teams in the world will compete at the event which is being staged at the St Jakobshalle.

The twelve teams who have qualified for this event are: Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.

Representing the hosts will be Zurich’s Jan Hauser and his team. This will be Hauser’s third world championship appearance, but his first as skip. Hauser was third on the Swiss team that won bronze at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

Among the well-known teams are the 2010 Olympic silver medallists and current European champions from Norway, led by Thomas Ulsrud who have not only brought their curling skills to the ice over the past few seasons but also their colourful curling pants.

Sweden fields another well-known team skipped by former European and world junior champion Niklas Edin whose team won bronze at the 2011 Men’s Worlds in Regina, Canada. The Czech Republic, skipped by Jiri Snitil are becoming an increasingly familiar presence at this level, while France’s Thomas Dufour also makes a return for an eighth World Championship appearance. Germany will be represented by the team led by John Jahr from Hamburg.

Last year’s silver medallist Tom Brewster returns with his team to represent Scotland. They lost last year’s final to Canada, who are represented this year by Glenn Howard of Ontario, who has won the world championship title three times (1987 playing third for his brother Russ, 1993 and 2007 as skip).

China, skipped by Rui Liu won the Asia Pacific Curling Championships in Nanjing, China, last November to qualify, and they beat New Zealand, who also qualified, in the final. This year’s New Zealand team is led by ex-pat Scot Peter de Boer.

Having coached his father Tommy at last year’s Championship, Rasmus Stjerne European silver medallist in 2010 and bronze medallist in 2011, won this year’s Danish championship to give him the right to represent his country this time round, and USA completes the twelve-team line-up, with a team skipped by Heath McCormick who are all making their debut at this level.

Round-robin play begins on Saturday 31st March and continues through seventeen sessions until Thursday 5th April. Tie-breakers will follow (if required) with Page Play-offs taking place on Saturday 7th April and medal games being staged on Sunday 8th April.

Teams competing at the World Men’s Curling Championship 2012 will also earn Olympic qualifying points for their nations. Based on cumulative points earned for their finishes at the 2012 and 2013 men’s championships, the top seven countries (host Russia receives an automatic entry), will compete at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

An additional two nations will have the chance to win their ticket to Sochi at a new World Curling Federation Olympic Qualifying Event to be held in December 2013. All nations having competed at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 World Championships would be eligible to compete in this event if they have not already secured their spot at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

World Curling TV (WCTV), the television arm of the World Curling Federation, will provide extensive live and video-on-demand coverage to broadcasters around the world. WCF Broadcast Partners for the 2012 World Championships include Eurosport (Eurosport, Eurosport 2 and Eurosport Player) in Europe, CCTV-5 in China, Universal Sports Network in the USA, SporTV in Brazil, TSN in Canada (RDS in Quebec).

The broadcast schedule for this event is available here: www.worldcurling.org/world-mens-curling-championship-2012---tv--web-schedule

Team line-ups, news, live scores and more can been seen here on the event website www.wmcc2012.curlingevents.com Information in German on www.wmcc2012.ch

Twitter hashtag for the event: #wmcc2012
Event Facebook: www.facebook.com/WMCC2012.Basel.Switzerland

The Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2013 will take place in Victoria, British Columbia Canada from 30 March to 7 April at the 6,500-seat Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, the same venue are the 2005 Ford World Men’s Championship.