Ford World Women’s starts Saturday in Swift Current

The 2010 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, presented by Monsanto, gets underway Saturday at the Credit Union i-plex in Swift Current. It’s the second time that a world women’s curling championship has been held in Saskatchewan.  In 1983, the event took place in Moose Jaw and was won by Switzerland’s Erika Müller. Twelve countries will be represented in the nine-day competition, with the top four teams qualifying for the playoffs, starting Friday, March 26 after the conclusion of the round robin.   The first and second place teams face off in one game, with the winner advancing to the gold medal final, while the loser goes to the semi-final. The third and fourth place teams will also meet, with the winner advancing to the semi-final on Saturday, while the loser goes to the bronze medal game on Sunday morning, where it will play the semi-final loser.  The Ford World Women’s final is slated for Sunday, March 28 at 3:00 pm CT/5:00 pm ET. TSN will carry all Team Canada games throughout the round robin, followed by the playoffs and final, while WCTV, the television arm of the World Curling Federation, will provide live game feeds to Eurosport and other international networks, in addition to highlight packages.  Also, NHK will televise all Japan games while Chinese Television will do the same for China’s entry. Canada will be represented by four-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts winning skip Jennifer Jones and her St. Vital Curling Club team from Winnipeg of Cathy Overton-Clapham, Jill Officer and Dawn Askin.  They also teamed to win the 2008 Ford World Women’s in Vernon, British Columbia.  Canada plays its first game on Saturday evening at 7:00 CT/9:00 pm ET against Sweden. China is skipped by Bingyu Wang of Harbin, who last month earned a bronze medal at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and is the reigning world champion, after capturing the 2009 World Women’s in Gangneung, Korea. Five other teams which will compete in Swift Current also participated in the recent Winter Olympics – skipped by Denmark’s Angelina Jensen, Germany’s Andrea Schöpp, Japan’s Moe Meguro, Russia’s Liudmila Privivkova and Scotland’s Eve Muirhead (who represented Great Britain). Jensen won a silver medal at the 2007 Worlds, Schöpp, the reigning European champion, will be making her 17th Worlds appearance, all as skip, having won in 1988, Privivkova won the 2006 World Juniors and 2006 European Championship while Muirhead is a three-time (2007, 2008, 2009) World Junior champion. Completing the field are Latvia’s Iveta Stasa-Sarsune, Norway’s Linn Githmark, the 2004 world junior champion and 2004 Worlds silver medallist, Sweden’s Cecilia Östlund, the 2008 World Junior silver medallist, Switzerland’s 2006 Olympic silver medallist Binia Feltscher and Erika Brown of the United States, who has twice won silver medals at both the Worlds and World Juniors. The media room phone number is (306) 778-7712.  Draw results and other event information are available at the Canadian Curling Association and World Curling Federation websites. The world women’s began in 1979 in Perth, Scotland and was contested separately from the men’s championship through 1988.  During that time, the women’s event was held twice in Canada, in 1983 in Moose Jaw and 1986 in Kelowna. In 1989, both championships were combined for the first time in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and remained so through 2004.  During that time, Canada first hosted the joint championships in 1991 in Winnipeg, followed by five Ford World Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships (Brandon, 1995; Hamilton, 1996; Kamloops, 1998; Saint John, 1999 and Winnipeg, 2003). Beginning in 2005, when the men’s and women’s world championships were separated once again, the Canadian Curling Association agreed to alternately stage a men’s and women’s event in Canada each year. Since then, the Ford World Men’s has been held in Canada in Victoria (2005), Edmonton (2007) and Moncton (2009) while the Ford World Women’s was staged in 2006 in Grande Prairie, Alberta and in 2008 in Vernon, British Columbia. Canada has won a leading 15 women’s world titles since 1979, the latest by Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones in 2008. Among other world women’s records, Sweden’s Elisabet Gustafson is the only four-time winning skip (1992, 1995, 1998 and 1999) while two-time (1990, 1991) world champion Dordi Nordby of Norway is the all-time leader in appearances (18 in total, 16 as skip) and games-won (111, as skip). The Ford Motor Company of Canada began its involvement as title sponsor of the world curling championships in 1995 in Brandon, Manitoba.   This marks the 16th year of title sponsorship by Ford of Canada. The Opening Ceremonies begin at 12 Noon on Saturday, March 20, with the first draw at 2:00 pm local time.   Attached are the official draw and roster. 2010 FORD WORLD WOMEN’S CURLING CHAMPIONSHIP MARCH 20-28, I-PLEX, SWIFT CURRENT, SASKATCHEWAN, CANADA [in order of fourth (skip, unless where noted), third, second, lead, alternate and coach] CANADA – St. Vital CC, Winnipeg, Manitoba Jennifer Jones Cathy Overton-Clapham Jill Officer Dawn Askin Jennifer Clark-Rouire Janet Arnott CHINA – Harbin CC, Harbin Bingyu Wang Yin Liu Qingshuang Yue Yan Zhou Xindi Zhang Weidong Tan, Dan Rafael DENMARK – Tårnby CC, Tårnby Madeleine Dupont Denise Dupont Angelina Jensen (skip) Camilla Jensen Ivana Bratic Renée Sonnenberg GERMANY – SC Riessersee, Garmisch-Partenkirchen Andrea Schöpp Melanie Robillard Monika Wagner Stella Heiss Corinna Scholz Rainer Schöpp JAPAN – Aomori CC, Aomori Moe Meguro Anna Ohmiya Mari Motohashi Kotomi Ishizaki Mayo Yamaura Shinya Abe LATVIA– Jelgava Curling Club, Jelgava Iveta Stasa-Sarsune Una Grava-Germane Ieva Krusta Zanda Bikse Dace Munca Brian Gray NORWAY – Stabekk Curling Club, Stabekk Linn Githmark Henriette Lovar Ingrid Stensrud Kristin Skaslien Kristin Tøsse Løvseth (alternate & coach) RUSSIA – Moskvitch CC, Moscow Liudmila Privivkova Anna Sidorova Nkeiruka Ezekh Ekaterina Galkina Margarita Fomina Olga Andrianova SCOTLAND– Dunkeld Curling Club, Dunkeld Eve Muirhead Kelly Wood Lorna Vevers Anne Laird Sarah Reid Nancy Murdoch SWEDEN – Karlstads CK, Karlstad Cecilia Östlund Sara Carlsson Anna Domeij Liselotte (Lotta) Lennartsson Sabina Kraupp Peja Lindholm SWITZERLAND  – Flims PurePower CC, Flims Binia Feltscher Corinne Bourquin Heike Schwaller Sandra Ramstein-Attinger Marisa Winkelhausen Gaudenz Beeli, Lorne & Christine Hamblin UNITED STATES – Madison CC, Madison, Wisconsin Erika Brown Nina Spatola Ann Swisshelm Laura Hallisey Jessica Schultz Bill Todhunter