November 5, 2011
The World Wheelchair Curling Qualification 2011 got underway on Saturday at the Kisakallio Sports Institute in Lohja, Finland with wins for Germany, Latvia, Slovakia and Switzerland on the first day.
The nine teams taking part in the event, which will see two teams qualifying for the final places at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2012, were able to get a feel for the ice in training sessions earlier in the day before the first session of round-robin play in the afternoon.
Slovakia won their game against Denmark 11-4 and Switzerland had a win against Japan 7-6. Italy had a bye and play their first game on Sunday.
Speaking after their 7-4 win against the Czech Republic, German coach Bernd Weiser said: “The team is obviously extremely happy about the win. If we're able to maintain this level of play, we have a good chance to win also tomorrow against Latvia. The team is very impressed with the setup and organisation of the event. The ice is also "sehr gut" so the team is also happy with that.”
The German team is a new line up. While Skip Jens Jäger and third Caren Totzauer have been competing at international level for several years, the other members of the team are relatively new to the sport of wheelchair curling.
Latvia also got off to a good start beating Finland 7-3. It was Latvia’s first ever win in international competition. Latvia’s wheelchair curling team only started competing at international level last year. Vice Skip Ojars Briedis was pleased that the championship had got off to such a good start. He added that it was proof that their preparations for this event had gone well.
The event runs until 10 November. The two teams that qualify will head for Chuncheon City, South Korea where the 2012 World Wheelchair Curling Championship will be staged next February.
Standings after Day 1 (1 Session)
Czech Republic 0-1
The schedule of play and team line-ups for this event are available online at: World Wheelchair Curling Qualification 2011
Results and LIVE webcasting will be provided on the Finnish Curling Association website:
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