Chinese women’s team face tough curling challenge

By Lu Wen’ao Source:Global Times Published: 2017/3/18 0:18:39

Chinese women's curling team faces a big challenge on Saturday as they take on 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic champions Canada in their opening game at the World Women's Curling Championship held in Beijing.

With the tournament the last chance for teams to earn Olympic qualification points for next year's Pyeongchang Games, facing a top-tier team in the opener is tough on China, who are still in a rebuilding period.

Tan Weidong, coach of Chinese national team, said though China did not have practical experience facing curling giants like Canada, the team is confident in their form.

"Canada women's team play in a very masculine way … But if we can deliver what we did in the training, we can defeat any team," Tan told reporters after a one-hour training session on Friday.

The coach is cagey on China's goal at the Championship, only saying that they hope to get a "good result" without elaborating.

China won gold at 2009 World Championship, which boosted curling's popularity in the country.

And the women's team also won gold at the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan last month. Currently China ranks 10th in the world.

China's squad for the home World Championship includes two veterans who competed at the 2009 championship, with 32-year-old Wang Bingyu, along with Zhou Yan, coming back to the national team after both giving birth to babies.

Following Saturday's game against Canada, China will have a two-match day on Sunday, against Switzerland and Czech Republic respectively.

The top seven teams with the most points in 2016 and 2017 World Championships will qualify for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. China did not participate in the 2016 Championship, but are able to play for the Olympic qualification event. Currently China has only 884 registered professional curling players, some 600 of whom are young players.


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