After re-arranging both the venue and the dates, the World Curling Federation will stage its second Championship of the season, when the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2021, presented by BKT Tires, gets underway on Friday 30 April.
Originally scheduled to take place in Schaffhausen, Switzerland from 19–28 March, this championship was previously cancelled due to the complications caused by the global pandemic.
Instead, between 30 April and 9 May, it will be the final event held in the specially developed curling “bubble” of the WinSport Arena at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.
While in the bubble, athletes and event staff follow stringent COVID-19 protocols, including quarantine periods, frequent testing and wellness checks. In addition, the championship will go ahead without spectators inside the venue.
The World Women’s Curling Championship 2020 was scheduled to take place in Prince George, Canada, only to suffer an eleventh-hour cancellation because of COVID-19.
For this season only, the championship field has been expanded from 13 to 14 teams. All teams qualified through a special system which considered performances at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2019, the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2019, the World Qualification Event 2020, and existing world rankings.
With the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 less than one year out, this event will also determine the first six qualifying National Olympic Committees within the women’s team event. The remaining teams who do not qualify are eligible to earn a place in the Olympic line-up through the Olympic Qualification Event being held in December 2021.
The 14 teams taking part are: Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, RCF, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, and United States.
- Canada: will be represented by Kerri Einarson and her team, who claimed back-to-back Canadian titles during the last two seasons. This team was due to make its debut at this level last year and will have the opportunity to do so now.
- China: skipped by Yu Han, are also newcomers at this level and will make their world championship debut after winning the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2019.
- Czech Republic: skipped by Anna Kubeskova, who is making her fifth appearance, this team features sisters Alzbeta and Michaela Baudysova.
- Denmark: features the experienced sisters Madeleine (skip) and Denise Dupont (second), who will both be making their twelfth world championship appearances.
- Estonia: also features sisters – skip Marie and third player Liisa Turmann – as Estonia make their world championship debut.
- Germany: Skip Daniela Jentsch makes her seventh worlds appearance in a team that includes her sister Analena Jentsch.
- Italy: Stefania Constantini steps up to the role of skip on what is her second world championship appearance.
- Japan: Sayaka Yoshimura also skips for the first time on her second appearance at this level – third player Kaho Onodera makes her third worlds appearance, while second player Anna Ohmiya and lead Yumie Funayama make their fourth.
- Korea: making a return to the international championship arena for the first time since the 2017-2018 season, when they won Olympic silver, skip Eun-Jung Kim leads the team that became known as the “garlic girls” during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
- RCF: with Russia serving a two-year World Anti-Doping Agency ban, Alina Kovaleva skips a team representing RCF.
- Scotland: skip Eve Muirhead makes her ninth appearance as she attempts to add to the gold (2013), silver (2010) and bronze (2017) medals she has won previously.
- Sweden: Anna Hasselborg skips the Olympic champions as they make their fourth appearance and attempt to improve on the two silver medals (2018 and 2019) they have won already.
- Switzerland: Silvana Tirinzoni, who skips and plays third stones, leads the defending 2019 champions in her fourth appearance.
- United States: Tabitha Peterson makes her debut as skip in her fifth worlds appearance. Her team includes younger sister Tara at lead, making her third worlds appearance.
Starting on Friday 30 April, the teams will play in 23 sessions of round-robin play. After that, the top six teams qualify for the play-off stage.
The teams ranked first and second will qualify directly for the semi-final games, while the third-ranked team will play the sixth-ranked team in one qualification game and the fourth-ranked team and fifth-ranked team will face each other in the other.
In the semi-finals, the first-ranked team will play the lower-ranked qualification game winners and the second-ranked team will play the other.
Qualification games will take place on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 May. The semi-finals will also take place on Saturday 8 May.
On Sunday 9 May, semi-final losers will play for bronze medals and after this, the winners will play for the world title and gold and silver medals.
LGT Top Shots
This year at the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2021 the LGT Top Shots competition will give curling fans the opportunity to vote for the top curling shot of the week.
Voting will open on Monday 10 May and will run until Sunday 16 May.
The winning shot, voted for by the curling community, will be announced on Monday 17 May. More details on how to vote will be provided as the championship progresses.
- The LGT World Women’s Curling Championship 2021 was originally to be staged in Schaffhausen, Switzerland on 19–28 March
- The cancelled World Women’s Curling Championship 2020 was to be staged in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
- Nine of the teams taking part this year (Canada, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, RCF, Scotland, Sweden, and United States) are made of members who were due to compete in the 2020 Championship
- This Championship features five sets of sisters, playing for Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, and United States
- The unique qualification arrangement for participation at this Championship was devised following significant consultation with various stakeholders including Marketing and Media rights holders, and the World Curling Federation’s Competition & Rules and Athlete Commissions
- The new Olympic Qualification rules, that will see six teams qualify from this Championship, have been approved by the International Olympic Committee
- This event in being staged in the curling “bubble” in Calgary, which was developed by Curling Canada and Alberta Health, with assistance from the Canadian Federal Government
World Curling TV will be broadcasting two games per session during the round-robin stage, then every play-off game for a total of 52 games during the competition.
All games will be broadcast on the World Curling TV YouTube channel, however games may be geo-blocked in accordance with broadcast partner agreements.
Further information on the broadcast information can be found here.