Day 1 of the 11th Glynhill Ladies International Curling Championship. Four days of world-class action starts this evening with the opening round-robin matches and spectating is free.
Braehead Curling Rink is the place to be this week as 2017 champions Team Muirhead (main picture) defend their Glyhill title against some of the best women’s sides from around the globe. And to add extra spice this year the 20-team draw features four of the teams (including Eve Muirhead’s rink) heading to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang next month.
Team GB representatives Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Lauren Gray were victorious last year beating 2015 world champion Alina Paetz and her rink from Switzerland in the final. And this week Muirhead and her rink (who took bronze at the 2014 Winter Olympics and 2017 World Championships) start as favourites to regain the trophy in what would be a perfect launch pad for their Olympic quest next month.
Who are the main contenders?
Competition is guaranteed to be fierce lead by the three other nations competing at Brahead before heading to Pyeonchang. 2009 world champion Bingyu Wang from China, champion rink in the 2014 Glynhill, returns with her experienced rink on the back of taking all before her in the Olympic qualifying event in Pilsen, Czech Republic last month. Likewise the established Danish rink headed up by the evergreen Dupont sisters are in good form having qualified via Pilsen. Completing the Olympic quartet will be Viktoria Moiseeva and her Russian rink (the 2016 European champions) who saw off none other than three-time world bronze medallist and current world silver medallist Anna Sidorova (also from Russia) en route to secure their place at the Olympics.
While Anna Sidrova and her rink are not on the plane to Korea they are at Braehead this week and along with the experienced Swiss rink (the 2014 and 2016 world champions led by Binia Feltscher) will be a big threat. The international popularity of the competition continues with champion rinks from Germany, Sweden, Italy and Poland and a young Korean rink making a first visit to Scotland. The remainder of the twenty teams feature a mixture of the best of the current Senior and Junior Scottish Performance teams looking to take on some of the world’s leading rinks on home soil.
In all 20 of the best teams in the world will be on the ice, representing nine different nations. These are the teams in full.
The Glynhill Ladies International Curling Championship is part of the Curling Champions Tour and as such valuable world ranking points are at stake, not to mention the old silver ‘hot toddie’ kettle and prize money to Sunday’s winners.
The competition will follow its traditional format with four sections of five teams playing a round-robin format from Thursday through until Saturday, with the two best teams in each section going forward to the knockout stages on Sunday.
A full rundown of who is playing when is available via the daily draw on the Glynhill Ladies International Curling Championship website.
Day 1 play gets underway at 5.30pm with the first of two sessions, the second one starting at 8.15pm.
It’s free entry to the Braehead Curling Rink for what promises to be a week of unmissable action on the ice leading up to to Sunday’s Glynhill Ladies International Curling Championship final. Don’t miss it!
Location: The Braehead Curling Rink is part of the Intu Braehead Shopping Complex beside the River Clyde, lying midway between Renfrew and Glasgow.
Play continues tomorrow with Day 2 of the championship featuring four sessions starting from 8.30am with the final one at 5.30pm.