The international curling spotlight turns to Canada on Saturday 14 March, when the World Women’s Curling Championship 2020, presented by Nature’s Bounty Vitamins, gets underway in the CN Centre in Prince George, British Columbia.
While Canada is no stranger to hosting World Curling Championships, this is a first visit to Prince George, the largest city in northern British Columbia.
This will be the 41st World Women’s event to be staged, with the first held in Perth, Scotland in 1979. In this championship, 13 of the top women’s teams will be representing their national Member Associations with the aim of taking home the world title.
All teams competing at this championship will begin to gather points in the qualification process for the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 women’s curling competition.
China, as host, receives an automatic entry. Seven places will be offered to the National Olympic Committees of the World Curling Federation Member Associations that have gained the most qualifying points from the World Women’s Curling Championships held in 2020 and 2021.
The final two places are then decided at the Olympic Qualification Event 2021. To compete in these events Member Associations must either host, have enough Olympic qualification points to enter or win through a pre-qualification event.
For a detailed breakdown of the Olympic Qualification process, visit https://worldcurling.org/olympic-qualification/
The World Women’s Curling Championship 2020 teams qualified through five different routes:
From the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2019, held in Shenzhen, China, in November (in qualification order): China and Japan
From the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2019, held in Helsinborg, Sweden, in November (in qualification order): Sweden, Scotland, Switzerland, Russia, Germany, Czech Republic and Denmark
From the Americas Challenge 2019, held in Minnesota, United States in November: United States
From the World Qualification Event 2020, held in Lohja, Finland, in January (in qualification order): Korea and Italy.
- Hosts Canada will be represented by Kerri Einarson ’s team – making their debut appearance. Second player Shannon Birchard makes her second appearance, having won the championship as alternate for Jennifer Jones in 2018.
- China will be represented by the current Pacific-Asia champions, skipped by Yu Han
- Czech Republic’s Anna Kubeskova and her team, who last took part in 2018, will be making a fifth appearance, with Kubeskova hoping to improve on her best-ever finish of sixth.
- Denmark’s team, skipped by Mathilde Halse, finished sixth at February’s World Junior Curling Championships 2020, in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
- Germany skip Daniela Jentsch is making a seventh appearance.
- Italy’s skip Veronica Zappone is making a third appearance.
- Olympic bronze medallist Satsuki Fujisawa skips a Japan team that won silver medals in their last appearance, in 2016.
- Korea skip Un Chi Gim makes a fifth appearance, hoping to improve on the fourth place she achieved in 2012 and 2014.
- Russia skip Alina Kovaleva leads a slightly-changed team from that which finished fifth last year.
- Scotland skip Eve Muirhead makes a ninth appearance, having won the title in 2013, silver in 2010, and bronze in her last appearance, in 2017. Muirhead also won Olympic bronze in 2014.
- Sweden, skipped by Anna Hasselborg, are reigning Olympic champions, European champions and last season’s world runners-up.
- Switzerland are defending the world title and they are represented by Elena Stern and her team, who defeated the current world champions in national competition to qualify.
- United States skip Tabitha Peterson will be making her fifth appearance — her first as skip — while her younger sister Tara (who plays second stones) will be making her third.
Starting on Saturday 14 March, the teams will compete in 20 sessions of round-robin play. After that, the top six teams qualifying for the play-off stage.
The teams ranked first and second after the round robin qualify directly for the semi-final games. The third-ranked team will play the sixth-ranked team in one qualification game (3v6), while the fourth-ranked team and fifth-ranked team will face each other in the other qualification game (4v5).
In the semi-finals, the first-ranked team will play the lowest-ranked qualifier and the second-ranked team will play the other.
Qualification games and semi-finals will take place on Saturday 21 March.
On Sunday 22 March, semi-final winners will then play for the world title and gold and silver medals, with the losers playing for bronze medals.
The championship will be broadcast around the world with the World Curling Federation’s broadcast partners and on the federation’s YouTube channel, World Curling TV. For more information about the broadcast schedule, click here.