The KUNTAI World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2021 begins tomorrow (23 October) and runs until 30 October. Twelve teams from around the globe will compete for the world title and final Paralympic Qualification Points for the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games.
From world and Paralympic champions to first-timers, the field is complete. Now it’s time to get to know the teams playing this week in Beijing, China.
To read the full event preview click here.
Canada’s team skipped by Mark Ideson has made great strides in the last two years coming from winning the Wheelchair-B Championship in 2019, to claiming silver at the World Championship in 2020. This team also won Paralympic bronze in 2018, with the exception of newest addition, Jon Thurston who now throws last stones.
Canada currently has 15 Paralympic Qualification Points and sit in sixth-place in the Points standings.
4 : Jon THURSTON
3 : Ina FORREST (Vice-Skip)
2 : Dennis THIESSEN
1 : Mark IDESON (Skip)
A : Collinda JOSEPH
The 2018 Paralympic champions and host of this event will be skipped by long-time skip Wang Haitao. He led the team at two Paralympic Games and eight world championships, winning gold in 2019.
As hosts of the upcoming Paralympics, China has a secured spot and currently lead the Paralympic Qualification standings with 23 points.
4 : WANG Haitao (Skip)
3 : CHEN Jianxin (Vice-Skip)
2 : ZHANG Mingliang
1 : YAN Zhuo
A : SUN Yulong
The Italians became the final team to qualify for the World Championship after finishing in third place at the World Wheelchair-B Curling Championship in April. Italy last competed at the World Championship in 2012 and finished in tenth place.
Italy will earn their first Paralympic Qualification points for Beijing 2022 from this championship.
4 : Egidio MARCHESE (Vice-Skip)
3 : Paolo IORATTI
2 : Matteo RONZANI
1 : Angela MENARDI (Skip)
A : Orietta BERTO
The Korean team skipped by Jang Jaehyuk will lead a lineup of first-time participants after winning the Korean National Championship 2021.
In 2020, Korea finished in sixth place at the World Championship and currently have 17 Paralympic Qualification Points for fourth place overall.
4 : JANG Jaehyuk (Skip)
3 : GO Seungnam
2 : JUNG Sunghun (Vice-Skip)
1 : BAEK Hyejin
A : YOON Eungu
This Latvian team had their breakthrough year from the Wheelchair-B event to the World Championship in 2018 and haven’t looked back. Since then, skip Polina Rozkova and her team finished with 5-6 records in both 2019 and 2020.
Latvia currently rests in ninth place with ten Paralympic Qualification Points.
4 : Polina ROZKOVA (Skip)
3 : Sergejs DJACENKO
2 : Agris LASMANS
1 : Ojars BRIEDIS (Vice-Skip)
A : Aleksandrs DIMBOVSKIS
Norway’s Jostein Stordahl will skip the reigning Paralympic silver medallists for the second consecutive year at the World Championship. They last finished with a 6-6 record in 2020 and claimed gold in 2017 with long time skip, Rune Lorensten.
Norway has 17 Paralympic Points and sit in third place currently.
4 : Jostein STORDAHL (Skip)
3 : Ole Fredrik SYVERSEN (Vice-Skip)
2 : Geir Arne SKOGSTAD
1 : Sissel LOECHEN
A : Mia SVEBERG
The team representing RCF is skipped by Konstantin Kurokhtin and are the defending world champions. This year’s team is identical to the one of 2020, with the exception of alternate Olga Beliak, who will debut on the world stage at this event.
RCF is currently the second in the ranking with 20 Paralympic Qualification Points.
4: Konstantin KUROKHTIN (Skip)
3: MESHCHERIAKOV Andrei (Vice-Skip)
2: DANILOV Vitaly
1: SHCHUKINA Daria
A: BELIAK Olga
Scotland has an incredibly rich wheelchair curling history. A Scottish team participated in 13 out of the past 14 World Championships. They have won seven World Championship medals at these events, including the most recent silver in 2019. Hugh Nibloe made his debut as skip on the international stage in 2020.
Scotland have 16 Paralympic Points and currently sit in fifth place.
4: Hugh NIBLOE (Skip)
3: Gregor EWAN (Vice-Skip)
2: David MELROSE
1: Meggan DAWSON-FARRELL
A: Charlotte McKENNA
Slovakia is led by two-time Paralympian skip, Radoslav Duris, who has led his team eight times at world events so far. Slovakia finished sixth (2019) and eighth (2020) at the last two World Championships, securing 12 Paralympic Points.
They currently sit in seventh place in the rankings.
4: Radoslav DURIS (Skip)
3: Dusan PITONAK
2: Peter ZATKO
1: Monika KUNKELOVA (Vice-Skip)
A: Imrich LYOCSA
Sweden has made great progress lately, having earned silver medals at the Wheelchair-B Championship in 2019 and a bronze at the 2020 world championship. The team is skipped by Viljo Petersson-Dahl and has Sabina Johansson making her first international showing as alternate.
Sweden has ten Paralympic Points and sit in eighth place in the qualification table.
4: Viljo PETERSSON-DAHL (Skip)
3: Ronny PERSSON
2: Mats-Ola ENGBORG
1: Kristina ULANDER (Vice-Skip)
A: Sabina JOHANSSON
Switzerland won silver medals at the Wheelchair-B Championship earlier in 2021 and the same team will attempt to qualify for the Paralympic Winter Games from this event. The team is skipped by Eric Decorvet who debuted in this position this season.
Switzerland is currently tenth in the ranking with ten Paralympic Points.
4: Eric DECORVET (Skip)
3: Hans BURGENER (Vice-Skip)
2: Francoise JAQUEROD
1: Laurent KNEUBUEHL
A: Patrick DELACRETAZ
United States qualified for this event by winning the Wheelchair-B Championship in April 2021. They are led by Matthew Thums who debuted on the world stage as skip in 2021. The team’s only Paralympian, Stephen Emt, throws third stones, just as he did at the Paralympics Games in 2018.
United States is 12th in the rankings with two Paralympic Qualification Points.
4: Matthew THUMS (Skip)
3: Stephen EMT (Vice-Skip)
2: David SAMSA
1: Pamela WILSON
A: Batoyun URANCHIMEG
To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media leading up to the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2021 follow it on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and use the hashtags when posting: #WWhCC2021 #curling