World Wheelchair Championship Qualifier begins Saturday

The 2012 World Wheelchair Curling Qualification event gets underway on Saturday at the Kisakallio Sports Institute in Lohja, Finland.

Turkey will make their international wheelchair curling debut at this event, joining 10 other teams including the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Norway, Poland and Switzerland.

The eleven teams are set to compete in the event which will run from 3 to 8 November. At stake are the two final places at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2013 which will be staged in the Ice Cube Curling Center in Sochi, Russia (venue for the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games).

It is the third year in a row that the qualification event has been hosted by the Kisakallio Sports Institute. As Kate Caithness, World Curling Federation President explains, the Institute is a perfect location for this competition: “Kisakallio is a first class facility for a wheelchair curling event – with accommodation on-site, easily accessible facilities and a fantastic curling venue.” She added: “We must thank the Finnish Curling Association, the Finnish Paralympic Committee and the team from Kisakallio who have excelled as hosts of this qualifier for the last two years and I have no doubt this will be yet another fantastic event for everyone involved.”

Of the eleven teams taking part, there are several athletes with Paralympic Winter Games appearances to their names, including Kenneth Ørbaek (Denmark) who competed in Turin 2006, and Jens Jäger (Germany) who competed in Vancouver 2010.

They will be joined by Norwegian Paralympian (Turin 2006 & Vancouver 2010) and former World Wheelchair Curling Champion (2007 & 2008), Rune Lorentsen. He returns to skip Norway in the qualification event following their relegation from the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2012.

Italy also returns to the qualification event following their performance at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Korea earlier this year.

The event starts on Saturday afternoon, with the eleven teams playing in a round-robin through to Wednesday 7 November. The top four teams at the end of the round-robin will meet in the playoff games for the two qualifying places for the World Championship on Thursday the 8 November.

The World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2013 will take place at the Ice Cube Curling Center, Sochi, Russia, from 16-23 February.

Russia, Korea, China, Slovakia, USA, Scotland, Canada and Sweden have already qualified for this event based on the final ranking at the 2012 event. Visit the event website: www.wwhcc2013.curlingevents.com

The 2013 World Championships will be the last opportunity for nations to gather qualification points for the Wheelchair Curling Competition at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia in 2014. For the list of points visit www.worldcurling.org/curling-at-the-paralympics

The schedule of play and team line-ups for this event are available online at: www.worldcurling.org/world-wheelchair-curling-qualification-2012

Results and LIVE webcasting will be provided on the Finnish Curling Association website:
www.curling.fi/en/competitions/leagues/8690
www.curling.fi/en/competitions/curling-channel

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www.facebook.com/WorldWheelchairCurlingChampionships