Murdoch predicts a stellar curling championship, as Glasgow prepares to welcome the world

David Murdoch outside the Emirates Arena. Photo by Bill Murray / SNS Group

Another exciting year of sporting events in Glasgow will get underway in just 50 days-time when the world’s best will take to the ice at the iconic Emirates Arena for the LGT World Men’s Curling Championship 2020. Excited by the prospect of a home championship, double world champion and Olympic silver medallist, David Murdoch, is confident Scotland will deliver a fabulous showcase for the sport.

The championship is returning to Scotland, the home of curling, for the first time in 20 years, last held at Braehead in 2000. Scotland is the perfect stage for international sporting events and Glasgow has been officially recognised as one of the top five global sporting cities and was recently named as the European Capital of Sport 2023.

The LGT World Men’s Curling Championship which is being delivered by a partnership between Glasgow Life, UK Sport, EventScotland and Scottish Curling, will take place over nine days at the Emirates Arena from Saturday 28 March to Sunday 5 April 2020. It will be the first time the Emirates has hosted an ice event, demonstrating its versatility as a world class sports venue in the heart of the community. A temporary ice sheet will be laid in the centre of the Arena, ensuring spectators will be able to get close up to the action.

This popular Olympic Winter sport will feature the top 13 nations in the world: Canada, Denmark, Germany, South Korea, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Norway, China, Russia, United States as well as hosts Scotland, all battling it out for a place on the podium at the sport’s annual flagship event. The stakes are raised further for the five-man teams, with Olympic qualification points also up for grabs for the next Games in Beijing in 2022.

Scotland has a strong track record at the world championships having won the title five times and has amassed the third highest tally of 34 medals behind Canada and Sweden. Most recently Scotland’s Bruce Mouat won bronze at the 2018 edition.

Team Bruce Mouat at the World Men’s Curling Championship 2018 © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

The last Scottish men’s rink to win the world championship was skipped to their second world title by David Murdoch in 2009. Now the British Curling National Coach, Murdoch who also won Olympic silver in 2014, is working as hard as ever to ensure the home crowd has a lot to cheer about.

Looking forward to the home world championship Murdoch said: “As a player you dream about representing your country at the world championships and to have the event on home ice makes it even more special. I was lucky enough to win two world titles and three European titles but none of them were at home. In fact the last time Scotland won the world championships on home soil was back in 1967 so a win is long overdue!

Scotland third Greg Drummond, skip David Murdoch at the World Men’s Curling Championship 2017 © WCF / Michael Burns

“However such a lot has changed in the sport in that time with the game expanding across the world and more than 64 countries involved in curling and all the top countries have full-time professional athletes. With Olympic qualification points on offer this year and next it is even more important to have a good championship and the standard of competition will be formidable.

“Glasgow and Scotland have a great track record of delivering events and I think it will be spectacular to have the world championships in the Emirates Arena that has seen so much international sporting action since the Commonwealth Games. As the home of curling I am also certain that the Scottish curling community will give a huge welcome to all the visiting fans as well as backing Scotland to the hilt at every game and I know how energising this will be for the team.

“Even if you are not a regular curling fan it will be a great spectacle and will give you a taste of just what an exciting sport it is to both watch and play.”

The rink to represent Scotland is still to be determined and will be the winners of the Scottish Championships which get underway on Monday at the Dewars Centre in Perth (10-15 February). Tickets for the Scottish Men’s and Women’s finals are available at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/scottish-curling-championship-finals-day-2020-tickets-84719936611

Looking ahead to the week-long crunch competition for the Scots, Murdoch added: “Our five British Curling men’s teams have been battling it out across the globe this season against the world’s elite and we now have three teams inside the top 20 in the World Curling Tour rankings. Our Scottish championships will be fiercely competitive as we have great depth in Scotland and with the pride of representing your country at a home worlds on the line, we will be seeing some tremendous shot making in Perth.

“It will also be a fabulous opportunity to see the very best curlers in the world including reigning Olympic silver medallists, World and European champions Sweden, led by Niklas Edin and the Canadians who are always amongst the contenders for the medals. The field will be strong across the board, as being halfway through the Olympic quadrennial all the teams will now have one eye on Beijing 2022 and be fine-tuning their games.”

Tickets for the event are selling well and with the draw for the competition just released last week, spectators can now home in on the sessions which include their must watch teams.

For information about the draw and to book your seat now, go to https://wmcc2020.com/fan-packages-and-tickets/

You can follow the World Curling Federation’s coverage of the LGT World Men’s Curling Championship 2020 on TwitterInstagram, Facebook and Weibo. Search the hashtags #curling #WMCC2020

7 February 2020