World Wheelchair Curling Qualification 2011 Day 3

Italy is the only team to remain unbeaten after the third day of play at the qualification event for the 2012 World Wheelchair Curling Championship at the Kisakallio Sports Institute in Lohja, Finland.

Team Italy Photo: WCF/Katja Kiiskinen

Both the original front runners at the event, Germany and Switzerland, were knocked back by the Italians and Finns on Monday. In the morning session, the Italians beat the Swiss 5-3, then went on to win their afternoon game against Germany 11-1.

Hosts Finland, who had a mixed start to the event, found winning form again, beating Germany 7-4 and then going on to win against Switzerland 8-6.

Italian coach Giulio Regli was delighted with his team’s performance but cautioned that there were still four games of the round-robin to go and stressed that the Italian team had found themselves in this position only a year ago.

At the 2010 qualification event, the Italians made the playoff stage of the event but failed to secure one of the two spots for the worlds. Regli added there was still a lot to play for and that his team had to keep focussed.

Denmark had their first wins of the event with two high scoring games: 13-5 against the Czechs and 15-3 against the Latvians.

Latvia beat Japan 10-6, before Japan recorded their first win of the event against Slovakia 9-3 in the afternoon session. Slovakia and the Czechs each had a bye on Monday.

The event in Finland will see two teams qualifying for the two remaining positions at the 2012 World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Chuncheon City, South Korea.

The nine teams taking part in the qualification play a round-robin (each team plays each fother). On Thursday 10 November, playoffs take place between the top four-ranked teams to decide the two teams that will go to South Korea next February.

Canada, Scotland, Norway, Russia, China, Korea, USA and Sweden have already qualified for this event based on the final ranking at the 2011 World Championship. The 2012 event will be the second opportunity for nations to gather qualification points for the Wheelchair Curling Competition at the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia in 2014.

Standings after Day 3 (5 Sessions)
Italy 4-0
Finland 3-2
Germany 3-2
Switzerland 3-2
Denmark 2-2
Latvia 2-3
Czech Republic 1-3
Japan 1-3
Slovakia 1-3

About Wheelchair Curling:
- Wheelchair Curling is open to individuals who are non-ambulant or can only walk short distances. This includes athletes with significant impairments in lower leg/gait function, such as spinal injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis or double leg amputation, who use a wheelchair for daily mobility.
- Each Wheelchair Curling team must be comprised of male and female players.
- It is governed by, and played, according to the rules of the World Curling Federation (WCF), with only one modification for wheelchair users - no sweeping.
- The first curling world cup for wheelchair players was held in January 2000, in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
- The first World Championship was also held in Switzerland in 2002, with the home team winning the first World title.
- Wheelchair Curling has been on the programme of the Paralympic Winter Games since the 2006 Turin games.

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:
www.curling.fi/en/competitions/leagues/7835/standings
www.curling.fi/en/competitions/curling-channel

World Curling Federation Wheelchair Curling Events Facebook: Go hit ‘like’ to keep updated:
www.facebook.com/WorldWheelchairCurlingChampionships