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2011 World Championships
Prague, Czech Republic - February 22-March 1, 2011
Canada repeat as World Champions

Photo: WCF/Pavla Hrbova

Final Standings
(click on team for team photo and members)







Gold Canada - CAN 11 0 79 39 25 7
Silver Scotland - SCO 8 4 81 55 22 15
Bronze Norway - NOR 7 5 63 70 15 20
4 Russia - RUS 6 5 68 61 19 15
5 China - CHN 5 4 55 42 12 15
6 Korea - KOR 4 5 54 55 12 13
7 USA - USA 3 6 60 54 16 10
8 Sweden - SWE 4 7 52 70 16 24
9 Germany - GER 2 8 46 80 9 17
10 Czech Republic CZE 2 8 36 68 15 25



Medal round results

March 1 - 14.30 Gold   Canada 7 - 4 Scotland
March 1 - 14.30 Bronze   Russia 3 - 8 Norway
March 1 1 9.30 Semi-final    Norway 1 - 12 Scotland
Feb 28th  14.30 Play-Off    Canada 7-4 Norway       Russia 5-8 Scotland
    Relegation tie breaks - Sweden 4-2 Czech Republic and Sweden 8-6 Germany
    Scroll HERE for Schedule and Round Robin results
Click  HERE for line scores

Read the 2011 World Championships wrap-up report HERE 3/2/2011

Worlds Day 8 - Canada sweep to World title March 1, 2011

It was the return of the old guard as the podium places were decided on the final day of the World Championships in Prague. Since 2004 there have only been three winners at the World level of wheelchair curling**, and all three teams claimed the podium today as Canada won gold, Scotland silver and Norway bronze.

Defending champions Canada also set a record as the only team to go through a World event unbeaten.

In the morning semi-final Scotland, who had beaten Norway 9-1 in round robin play, overwhelmed them 12-1, racing out to a 6-0 lead and sealing the win with a 4 in the 5th and a date with Canada in the afternoon's final.

Scotland * 3 2 1 0 4 2 x x - 12
Norway     0 0 0 1 0 0 x x - 1

It was the first time since Canada's nail biting last rock victory in 2006 that Canada and Scotland had met in the final of a World event, and it was a close game at the beginning. Canada opened with 2 with hammer, but Scotland took a single and a steal to tie. Canada regained the initiative with another 2 before the break, and then eased ahead with steals in ends 5 and 6 to win 7-3.

Scotland - 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 x - 3
Canada *   2 0 0 2 2 1 0 x - 7

“We got off to a good start,” said Canada skip Jim Armstrong. “We were very solid and the two girls [lead Sonja Gaudet and second Ina Forrest] at the front end absolutely set the bar for wheelchair curling. They made it really easy for me. I honestly never had a tough shot. In the round robin we were very close after five ends against Scotland, but sometimes you have to play a little more aggressively and we had to play hard to beat them.”

Scottish skip Aileen Neilson said the team was delighted with silver. “We knew we could come out here and give it our best shot. This is the first major championship that the five of us have played together. I think it’s obvious that we’ve really gelled. The guys have played great and given me great support on the ice and made my job easy.”

Norway had to overcome the disappointment of their semi-final thrashing by facing Russia for the bronze. Quite why the losing team in the 3 vs 4 game should get another chance at a medal eludes me, but this time justice prevailed as Norway beat Russia 8 - 3.

Russia started well, stealing 2 in the 1st end, but Norway posted the next seven points for a comfortable win.

Russia - 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 x - 3
Norway * 0 2 2 1 2 0 1 x - 8

“I’m very satisfied,” said Norway's skip Rune Lorentsen. "We had a good start to the championship and went downhill in the middle. In the game against Scotland this morning I missed everything. It was a bad day at the office for me! But now I’m feeling much better.”

Russia join the medallists and China, Korea, USA and Sweden as automatic qualifiers for the 2012 World Championships in Chuncheon City, South Korea February 18 - 25, 2012. They will be joined by the top two teams competing at the Worlds Qualifying Tournament in Finland at the end of October. Only teams that compete in World Championships can earn points towards qualification at the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.

**Scotland won the Worlds in 2004 and 2005. Norway won the Worlds in 2007 and 2008. Canada won the Worlds in 2009 and 2011 and also the Paralympics in 2006 and 2010.

Worlds Day 7 - Return of the old guard: Canada, Scotland and Norway play for Worlds title

Three years ago Canada, Scotland and Norway may have been consensus picks to compete in the playoffs at the World Championships. After two years of struggle Scotland and Norway have re-emerged to challenge Canada at the top of the 2011 Prague World Championship rankings.

Canada played Norway in the 1 vs 2 game, opening with a 3 and never looking back in the 7-4 victory. Norwegian skip Rune Lorentsen was fatalistic after the game, knowing he's been playing all week with a rookie front end.

“The Canadian lead and second were very strong in this game,” he said. “If our lead and second have a good day then we can perhaps match them and hopefully that will be in the final.”

Scotland played qualifiers Russia, a team who had beaten them on the opening day of round robin play, in the page 3 vs 4 game. Scotland held Russia to 1 in the opening end and then took 3 in the second, only to fall behind 4-3 on a couple of single point steals after 5. Singles were taken with hammer for a 5-5 tie through 8 ends, but in the extra, Scotland stole 3 for an 8-5 win and a semi-final game against Norway.

Scots skip Aileen Neilson hogged her first stone in the extra end, but playeda great hit-and-roll buried with her second. “We are absolutely delighted, the guys played an awesome game,” she said. “The guys set up the extra end perfectly. My first shot wasn’t the best but I made up for that with the second shot.”

The winner of the morning semi-final game plays Canada in Tuesday afternoon's final. The loser plays Russia for the bronze medal.

At the bottom of the table, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Germany all had 2-7 records so played tie-breakers to decide which team would automatically qualify for the 2012 Worlds in Korea, and which would have to compete in the Qualifying Tournament in Finland next November.

Sweden and the Czechs played first, a game of singles with Sweden gaining a 3-0 lead at the break and holding on for a 4-2 victory, relegating the Czechs.

Sweden then played Germany, who had given themselves a chance at avoiding relegation by beating Sweden 7-3 in the final round robin draw. With the scores tied 3-3 at the break, Sweden stole 2 in the 5th only to give up 3 in the 6th. But Germany could not hold on. Sweden took two in the 7th and Germany, down one in the final end, gave up a steal and lost 8-6 and were relegated.

A relieved Swedish coach Jalle Jungnell said “if you manage to stay in the group of teams that qualify directly for the World Championships you have got a better chance of qualifying for the Paralympics. But the lesson we have learnt here is for better preparation. We were unprepared.”

On a personal note while I sympathis with Germany and the Czechs, I'm pleased that Jalle, the first wheelchair user to coach at the World level, did not see his team relegated.

Line scores are available HERE and a large gallery of photos are available HERE

Worlds Day 6 - Canada sweep, join Norway, Russia and Scotland in playoffs

Canada completed their sweep of the round robin matches at the 7th World Wheelchair Curling Championships in Prague, beating Scotland 9-4 in the final draw.

Skip Jim Armstrong, acknowledging tight early results, told reporters that his team had not played together very often this year and had taken a little while to settle in and get used to the ice, but were feeling increasingly comfortable as the week went on.

“The 9-4 score was not indicative of the game,” he said. “They had last rock and we ran them up and down for a couple of ends and I decided we’d take a cautious risk in end three and see if we could take two and get back in control. The interesting thing is that those first four ends were played exactly as able-bodied curlers would play it and I think that speaks for the calibre of the game today.”

It was Canada's steal of 3 in the 4th end that put paid to Scotland's hopes of appearing in the 1-2 playoff game, given that they lost to China 5-4 in an extra end this morning.

“Obviously today has not been our best day at the office” said Scottish Skip Aileen Neilson. “But our goal was to get into the business end of the week and we’ve done that. Tomorrow we are going to come out fighting. We know that if we play the way we did with our six (consecutive) wins, there’s absolutely nothing to stop us coming out on top.”

China held their fate in their own hands when they faced fellow qualifiers Russia, who beat Sweden 8-3 this morning, in the final draw. The winner would play on, the loser would have to wait for next year.

China opened with a single with hammer, then saw Russia pull ahead 3-1 with single point steals before the break. China pulled level with a single in the 5th and a steal in the 6th, but Russia posted a decisive 3 in the 7th to claim the 6-3 win and their playoff spot. An excited Russian skip Marat Romanov said, “Our performance has exceeded our expectations. This is the first time we’ve reached such heights at the World Championships.”

Norway went into today's games knowing they had at least a tie-break. Coach Thoralf Hognestad was philosophical about his team's defeats by Canada and Scotland, but unhappy at the loss to the struggling Czechs, a game where he felt his team blew more than enough chances to win.

They almost blew their game against bottom team Germany, needing an extra end to post a 7-6 victory after giving up a steal in the 8th.

German coach Helmar Erlewein, acknowledging a new line-up, had limited ambitions for this Championship; a desire to qualify for next year. In the final draw his team avoided automatic relegation by defeating Sweden 7-3.

USA, who began the competition with definite plans on a medal, had only the morning game, a vital third victory, 9-3 over the host Czechs. They then had an anxious wait to see whether the afternoon results would go their way. They did, with the Czechs losing to Korea 7-3 and Sweden's loss to Germany.

This put Germany, Sweden and the Czech Republic all at 2-7 with a series of playoff games to come to decide which two teams will be relegated to the Qualifying Tournament in Finland next November.

Canada plays Norway in the 1 vs 2 game tomorrow. The winner goes to the final, the loser plays the winner of the 3 vs 4 game between Russia and Scotland. Russia beat Scotland 7-3 on the opening day.

Scroll down for results, tables and teams

Line scores are available HERE and a large gallery of photos are available HERE

Worlds Day 5 - Unbeaten Canada clinch playoff spot.

Alberta's patient alternate Bruno Yizek was given a game at 2nd against Germany (1-6) in the morning draw that saw Canada (8-0) coast to a 13-0 win in six ends. The opposition promised to be tougher in the afternoon, but Canada stole an early 4-0 lead over Norway (5-3) on their way to a 7-4 win that guaranteed them a place in the Page 1 vs 2 playoff game.

Norway had lost to the Czech Republic in the morning draw, again by giving up a big early lead. Though they tied the game after 6 ends, and were just one down with hammer in the 8th, they were unable to deny the Czechs their second win, losing 6-4.

Norwegian skip Rune Lorentsen remained upbeat saying “with two beginners and our third player who has never been in the Worlds before, our performance this week is above all our expectations.” They face last place Germany tomorrow, and with the other 3 loss teams playing each other, are guaranteed a playoff spot with a win.

Scotland (6-1) clinched their playoff spot with a 5-4 win over Korea (3-5). “When you come to the world championships your first goal is to get the business end of the week,” said skip Aileen Neilson. “[then) we take stock and focus and start the competition again.” Three losses guarantees a playoff spot.

China (4-3) beat Sweden (2-5) 5-3 in their only game today, but have a tough finish against Scotland and Russia tomorrow. Russia needed a steal of 2 in an extra end to put away the disappointing Americans who again dug themselves a huge hole by giving up a big end, this time a five before the break, that single point steals were unable to overcome.

Relegation to the Qulifying Tournament is now a very real possibility for the USA team who had made the playoffs at the 2009 Worlds and 2010 Paralympics. They play the Czechs tomorrow in a must win game for both teams.

Another team who will be fighting for survival will be Paralympic bronze medallists Sweden who play Russia tomorrow. Both teams will be highly motivated; for opposite reasons.

Standings after Draw 10

Canada 8-0 (Q)
Scotland 6-1 (Q)
Norway 5-3
China 4-3
Russia 4-3
Korea 3-5
Sweden 2-5
Czech Republic 2-5
USA 2-6
Germany 1-6

Scroll down for results, tables and teams

Line scores are available HERE and a large gallery of photos are available HERE

Worlds Day 4 Canada alone at top after Scotland end Norway's unbeaten run

Norway's run of 22 games without defeat came to a decisive halt when they faced Scotland in Draw 7 of the World Championships in Prague. The game went with hammer, with Scotland holding a 3-1 edge at the break, before the Scots posted steals of 3 in the 5th and 6th before early handshakes and a 9-1 win.

The win put Scotland in a tie with Norway for second place and skip Aileen Neilson was delighted to have broken Norway's streak. "My team played a phenomenal game. But we need to keep our heads screwed on because we’ve still got three more games to go.” Scotland had beaten Germany 10-4 earlier in the day but still have to face Korea, China and Canada.

Canada had a very tough 5-4 win over the Czech Republic to maintain their unbeaten record and claim sole ownership of the top of the table. The Czechs went out to an early 3-0 lead before seeing it slip away in a series of single point steals. Skip Radek Pokorný said his team had tried hard to surprise Canada and thought they did that, managing to force Canada into some difficult situations.

Korea kept their playoff hopes alive with an 8-2 win on four consecutive steals over fellow challengers Russia, though Russia regrouped to post a 14-0 win over an emotionally drained Czech Republic.

China handed Germany their second loss of the day, and kept their playoff hopes on track with the 11-1 win. They are tied with Korea and Russia for fourth place.

Sweden won their second game and put paid to USA's medal chances with a 9-6 win. USA have lost some very close games this week, but in a game they had to win they were down 5-0 after two ends despite having hammer. They pulled back to level the scores and started the 7th with hammer but gave up 3 and lost 9-6.

“It feels very good to have a win finally again,” said coach and last year's skip Jalle Jungnell “It’s very hard as you see things so much more clearly from above. it’s very clear what the team needs to do! And you get frustrated that you can’t actually play the shot.”

Canada plays Germany and Norway tomorrow.

Scroll down for results, tables and teams

Line scores are available HERE and a large gallery of photos are available HERE

Worlds Day 3 - Norway and Canada continue to win

Norway added another couple of wins to their impressive string of 22 consecutive victories when they faced Korea and China on Day 3 of the World Championships in Prague.

In the morning draw steals in the 4th and 7th saw off China 6-3. In the afternoon against Korea they opened with two but then gave up four before steadying with steals in ends 4, 5 and 6. Korea levelled the score at 7-7 with a three in the 7th end, but Norway took their one in the 8th to win 8-7.

Canada kept pace with Norway, beating Russia 7-3 in the morning draw. A steal of two in the 5th was decisive. In the afternoon against struggling Sweden, Canada stole each of the first four ends, again winning 7-3.

Scotland remain at just one loss after beating USA 6-5. USA started well, taking one and then stealing 2 for an unfamiliar early lead before seeing it disappear when Scotland posted four in the 3rd. An exchange of singles the rest of the way gave Scotland the 8-7 win.

USA have ridden the confidence of their skip Goose Perez to the playoffs the last two years, but at 1-3 going into the afternoon draw against China they found themselves down by 4 before they gave up the hammer. China later posted a four and a three in an 11-4 win that had the hallmarks of a losing team pressing.

Sweden's coach Jalle Jungnell has had a tough transition from last year skipping the Paralympic bronze medallists. He saw his team fall behind 4-0 with the hammer playing Korea, and then watched Korea post the biggest end of the tournament, a 5 just after the break on the way to a 10-6 final.

Life was no easier in the afternoon as they faced Canada, who stole the first six points for a 7-3 win. “The Swedes had a tough first game today and sometimes it’s a little tough to re-gear and refocus,” said Canadian Skip Jim Armstrong. “I think we maybe just caught Glenn [Ikonen, Swedish Skip] on a bad day, on a rebound."

Winless Germany got off to a strong start against the host Czech Republic. A three in the 2nd was followed by a steal, and though the Czechs rallied with a steal of their own in the 7th to get to within two, Germany prevailed for their first win, 6-4.

A relieved Marcus Sieger, who has stepped up to skip while still throwing 3rd stones said, “We are happy to have our first victory. it’s my first world championship as skip so it’s a new experience for me. I think I have still got a lot to learn – I need to improve on strategy!”

Scroll down for results, tables and teams

Line scores are available HERE and a large gallery of photos are available HERE

Worlds Day 2 - Norway wins 20 straight, stays top with Canada

Norway won their twentieth consecutive match this morning, beating Russia 7-3. "This afternoon," promised coach Thoralf Hognestad, "we will play tennis!"

Canada continued their run of nail-biting single point victories with a 6-5 win over Korea. They were behind 3-2 at the 4th end break, and gave up a steal in the 5th, but then scored the next four points. Korean skip Tae Yeong Jeong, needing two to force an extra, was light on his final draw and managed only a single.

All three of Canada's wins have been decided by a single point. “Once again we had to come from behind, I think it speaks for the calibre of play generally” said Canadian Skip Jim Armstrong. “Every game has gone to the last rock.”

Scotland regrouped from yesterday's disappointing loss to Russia to post two wins, 10-2 over the Czechs and 7-4 over Sweden.

“Sometimes it’s that last stone that makes the difference,” said Scottish Skip Aileen Neilson, who ended Sweden’s chances of tying up the game in the eighth end with her last stone. “Sometimes you just do the maths and I thought if I get rid of that stone he [Swedish Skip Glenn Ikonen] is not going to get his two. That was the objective and it came off.” Not only was the takeout successful, it padded the score with a steal.

USA finally entered the win column, scoring 4 in the 7th to sink Germany 9-3.

“I think the difference between yesterday and today is that we shot to make the shots and yesterday sometimes we felt that we were shooting not to miss. The key shots we needed to make today – we did!” exclaimed US Skip Augusto Perez.

Germany mounted a comeback against Russia in the afternoon after giving up a 4 in the 6th. They stole 2 in the 8th to force an extra end, but it wasn't enough as Russia took their one to win 8-7 and leave Germany as the only team without a win.

Hosts Czech Republic won their first game, a convincing 9-3 defeat of China in a game where they stole points in 5 of the 7 ends.

Czech Skip Radek Pokorný, playing at his first World Championship, said: “We were quite disappointed to have lost so badly to Scotland this morning as every game is important. We were just trying to forget about this loss. Right from the start we put China under pressure. They were forced to make difficult shots and our tactic paid off.”

Worlds Day 1 - Canada overcome early scare, share lead with Norway

Canada are not known as fast starters at international competitions, and faced a tough opening day against China and USA. China had to qualify through the challenge round last November, but impressed observers with their accurate up-weight hitting, much as Korea had done when they came from nowhere to claim silver in 2008.

China took 1 with hammer, then stole 2 only to give momentum back to Canada who stole 1 just before the break. China added to their lead however, with singles in 5 and a steal of 1 in 6 to go ahead 5-2 with two ends remaining.

Canada were held to one in the 7th but then came through with a big steal of two in the 8th to force an extra end, winning 6-5 with another steal when China's skip Haitao Wang’s final stone was too heavy.

Canada rode their good fortune into their afternoon draw against USA. This time Canada started well, following a blank first end with a 3 with hammer. An exchange of singles left USA down 5-3 in the 8th and though they stole the last point, it wasn't enough, Canada winning 5-4 to join Norway at the top of the standings.

Norway beat USA in the morning. The pattern of a single and a steal was broken by Norway's 2 with hammer in the 8th for a 5-4 win. Long-time skip Rune Lorentsen said: “We are extremely pleased to have done so well on the first day. I have to give credit to Terje [Rafdal] and Tone [Edvardsen] the new lead and second on our team.”

Norway saw off regional rivals Sweden 8-3 in seven ends in the afternoon draw, stealing 2 in the 6th and 3 in the 7th before handshakes.

In the other morning matches, Sweden went out to a 5-0 lead against hosts Czech Republic but saw it whittled away with a succession of single point steals. Sweden needed their single with hammer in the final end for their 6-4 win.

Korea posted 3's in the 2nd and 7th ends but needed a stolen single in the final end to complete their 7-5 win over Germany.

Scotland had a bye in the morning and dug themselves a big hole in their afternoon game against qualifiers Russia, falling behind 4-0 after 3 ends. Russia won 7-3, their skip Marat Romanov joking afterwards that traditionally they have lost their first game so to win was a bit of a surprise.

The loss against a team they would have expected to beat will not have done much to help the Scots team's confidence after a series of international setbacks.

China demonstrated they are the new Asian team to watch in their 9-3 win over a Korean team lacking international experience.

The day's results have Canada and Norway at the top of the table while USA Scotland, Czech Republic and Germany await their first win.

Canada play just one game tomorrow, against Korea in the morning.

Scroll down for results, tables and teams

Friday Feb 17 - Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to Prague we go

Play at the 2011 World Wheelchair Curling Championships begins next Tuesday, February 22, at the Curling Hall Roztyly, in Prague.

Hosts Czech Republic, and the top seven teams from the 2009 Worlds led by defending champions Canada, will be joined by qualifiers China and Russia in a ten team round robin with a page playoff and final a week later on March 1st.

Canada will be heavy favourites having won both Worlds in 2009 and Paralympics in 2010, albeit on home ice. They field their Paralympic team with Alberta's Bruno Yizek at alternate replacing Manitoba's Chris Sobkowicz from an otherwise all British Columbia 2009 World gold medal team.

Canada made only a couple of competitive appearances this season; a split squad played each other in the final of the 2010 Richmond International, and the 2011 team went unbeaten in an international spiel in Scotland in January.

The one cloud might be how recent legal distractions may have interrupted skip Jim Armstrong's mental preparation, and indeed may have been a distraction to what has been a very close-knit group. But this is a team that has worked together for over two years now, like each other and have good team dynamics, overseen by sports psychologist Dr. Laura Farres who with Coach Joe Rea and Team Leader Wendy Morgan will be with the team in Prague.

In the past Canada has not always got off to a fast start, and in Prague they have a tough opening three games against China, USA and Korea just three days after arriving in Europe.

Korea were the team that had all the international coaches worried when they brought an outstanding hitting game to challenge Norway in the 2008 Worlds final. A disappointing 2009 Worlds was followed by a heroic comeback against Canada in the Paralympic final, when they spotted Canada to an 8-1 half-time lead and fell just one short in an 8-7 loss.

This year's team is completely new and untested against this calibre of opposition. I have been told that Korea sends its club champion to represent their country (can anyone confirm?) which might explain the wholesale change in personnel. It will be a major surprise as well as a testament to the depth of talent in Korea if a rookie squad can compete against the experience of most of the other teams.

Paralympic bronze medallists Sweden return with their very experienced skip, Jalle Jungnell, now coaching. His Vancouver third, Glenn Ikonen, who ran afoul of the Paralympic drug testers, has served his 6 month suspension and is now skipping. Patrik Burman moves from 2nd to 3rd and last year's alternate, Patrik Kallin who did so well stepping into the team at the tie-break game, plays 2nd.

Long-time lead Anette Wilhelm has retired, her place taken by Kicki Ulander.

Sweden faced a lot of adversity last year in Vancouver. Skip Jungnell had barely played since a serious illness. They lost their 3rd, who had taken over last stones. But they could rely on the presence and experience of one of Sweden's most decorated players, Tomas Nordin, to see them through tough times. This year their success may depend on Jalle Jungnell's ability not only to come up with a winning game plan, but to lead from off the ice.

One group not lacking in confidence is the ever-positive Team USA. They suffered a blow when they lost the services of Patrick McDonald to shoulder surgery. McDonald, a veteran, brought a steely-eyed seriousness to a group not short of things to say. He is replaced by Penny Greely, but the core of the team remain players who have reached the playoffs every year since 2008.

With skip Augusto Perez maturing and not trying to win the game with every shot, and some solid support from James Pierce, Jimmy Joseph and lead Jacqui Kapinowski, this may be USA's year to improve on their solitary bronze medal.

"I have a good feeling," says Norway's coach Thoralf Hognestad, who had taken his national team to two World titles before handing over to Danish coach Per Christensen for the Paralympics. He is back with Rune Lorentsen at skip and Jostein Stordahl at 3rd, but with a brand new front end. Tone Edvarsen, the first player to take advantage of the WCF rule change that allows power wheelchairs onto the ice, plays 2nd and Terge Rafdal is the lead.

Norway have been proof that results don't rely on good statistics. When they were winning they were never atop the stat charts, though it could be argued that their results in Vancouver in 2009 and 2010 were in line with the overall shooting percentages.

Norway had an impressive run of 17 unbeaten games earlier this season, culminating in a win at the Prague Open. If Rune has his confidence back and Thoralf has them implement his famous "wheelchair curling not regular curling" game plan, they may well make a come back, despite their inexperienced front end.

Scotland have made their first significant changes since Frank Duffy retired after Torino. Skip Michael McCreadie has taken a year off from the national team while he decides whether he wants to compete internationally again. I think it would be fair to say that while he was an excellent 3rd to Duffy, he never looked comfortable at skip.

That role now passes to Aileen Neilson who will be the first female to skip a national side at a World event, though she threw 4th stones at the Vancouver Paralympics. She is supported by two veterans, Angie Malone back at lead after serious illness, and Tom Killin who will be a very experienced vice.

The two newcomers are Gregor Ewan, who somewhat rashly told a reporter he was after Aileen's job, and Michael McKenzie, who played under Ewan on the current British Championship team.

Scotland, who compete as Great Britain at the Paralympics, are a puzzle: highly experienced, well funded and trained, yet with little to show for the resources poured into the program since a bronze medal in 2007. On paper they look a strong side, but a 10-17 performance over the past three years indicates something is missing.

New British national coach Tony Zummack has been unable to take up his position because of paperwork delays in Scotland, so the team will be led by Sheila Swan, who assisted their previous coach Tom Pendreigh. On the plus side she knows the team. On the negative side, the team did not thrive under Pendreigh and his delivery position theories.

It remains to be seen who will make the team and where they will throw from. Those decisions will be made by Swan. Zummack hopes to be with the team in time for the Scottish Championships later in March.

Germany ditched their ebullient skip Jens Jäger after the Paralympics where they fell from a 2009 bronze medal to a tied for last 3-6 record in 2010 with virtually the same team.

Marcus Sieger steps up to skip though he will continue to throw 3rd stones. Jens Gäbel throws last rocks, newcomer Stefan Deuschl plays 2nd while Christiane Steger returns at lead.

Last year Coach Helmar Erlewein said they would treat Canada as just another game, and not treat them differently from other teams. "We have a master plan," he said, "which we can vary if required." This year he tells me that "because of personnel changes, the team is working on a new tactical concept."

In 2009 Germany had a magical round robin that put them straight into the 1 vs 2 playoff game. Whether this year's team without Jäger will channel the magic of the last rock of the bronze medal game in 2009, or the disappointment of 2010 will depend on whether their new tactical approach works.

China opened many eyes at the World Qualifying Tournament in Finland by their low to the ice delivery and super heavy hitting. They were the tough luck team in 2009, displaced from automatic qualification this year by the host team. It did, however, give China an opportunity to gain international experience by playing nine games in Finland.

Their team includes three of the players who soundly beat Canada during round robin play at the 2009 Worlds, and if their tactical approach can come close to their hitting, they will contend for a playoff spot.

Russia were the last team to qualify for the event, having to beat two 2010 Paralympic teams, Japan and Italy, in the Qualifying playoffs to book their spot in Prague. With the 2014 Paralympics to be held in Sochi, they are the only team competing in Prague who will not need the qualifying points to be amassed over the next three World Championships in order to compete in 2014.

Finally, the host team Czech Republic are a team on the periphery of international competition. They have competed in the last three Qualifying tournaments prior to 2010 when they did not need to qualify as hosts in 2011.

Their best result was a thrid place finish in 2008 on home ice with the same team that will compete this year. In fact the only changes to the team membership since 2006 has been at lead, currently Michaela Charvátová.

Team Czech Republic, this year skipped by Radek Pokorný, with Martin Tluk at 3rd and Radek Musílek listed at 2nd will do well despite playing on home ice, if they avoid the 2011 Qualifying tournament next November.


Standings after Round Robin and relegation tie-breaks
(click on team for team members)







1 Canada - CAN 9 0 65 32 22 6
2-4 Norway - NOR 6 3 50 48 12 15
2-4 Scotland - SCO 6 3 58 42 17 11
2-4 Russia - RUS 6 3 60 45 16 11
5 China - CHN 5 4 55 42 12 15
6 Korea - KOR 4 5 54 55 12 13
7 USA - USA 3 6 60 54 16 10
8 Sweden - SWE 4 7 52 70 16 24
9 Germany - GER 2 8 46 80 9 17
10 Czech Republic CZE 2 8 36 68 15 25

CLICK HERE for match line scores

Results and draws
(times are local - for PST subtract 9 hours)
Sheet A
Sheet B
Sheet C
Sheet D
22nd 9.30 NOR - USA
5 - 4
7 - 5
5 - 6
6 - 4
  14.30 SCO - RUS
3 - 7
3 - 8
3 - 9
5 - 4
23rd 9.30 KOR - CAN
5 - 6
10 - 2
9 - 3
3 - 7
14.30 SWE - SCO
4 - 7
8 - 7
9 - 3
24th 9.30 CHN - NOR
6 - 3
10 - 6
3 - 7
5 - 6
  14.30 GER - CZE
6 - 4
11 - 4
3 - 7
25th 9.30 X CAN - CZE
5 - 4
10 - 5
8 - 2
14.30 USA - SWE
6 - 9
1 - 9
0 - 14
11 - 1
26th 9.30 CAN - GER
13 - 0
3 - 5
3 - 12
4 - 6
14.30 SCO - KOR
5 - 4
7 - 9
7 - 4
27th 9.30 CZE - USA
3 - 9
6 - 7
5 - 4
8 - 3
14.30 RUS - CHN
6 - 3
2 - 7
7 - 3
4 - 9

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Team Canada

Skip Jim Armstrong
Third Darryl Neighbour
Second Ina Forrest
Lead Sonja Gaudet
Alternate Bruno Yizek

Coach Joe Rea

Team Canada 2011

Team China 2011 Team China

Skip Wang Haitao,
Third Liu Wei,
Lead He Jun
Second Xu Guangquin
Alternate Zhang Qiang

Coach Hongchen Li

Team Czech Republic

Skip Radek Pokorný 
Third Martin Tluk
Second Radek Musílek
Lead Michaela Charvátová
Alternate Jana Břinčilová

Coach Kateřina Urbanová

Team Czech Republic 2011
Team Germany 2011 Team Germany

Skip Marcus Sieger
4th Jens Gäbel
Lead Christiane Steger
Second Stefan Deuschl
Alternate Heike Melchior

Coach Helmar Erlewein

Team Korea

Skip Taeyeong Jeong
Third Giteak Kuon
Second Haenam Yang
Lead Young-a Jung
Alternate Oejeong Kang

Coach Woo Jin Kim

Team Korea 2011
Team Norway 2011 Team Norway

Skip Rune Lorentsen
Third Jostein Stordahl
Second Tone Edvarsen
Lead Terge Rafdal
Alternate Runar Bjørnstad

Coach Thoralf Hognestad

Team Russia

Skip Marat Romanov
4th Andrey Smirnov
Second Alexander Shevchenko
Lead Svetlana Pakhomova
Alternate Oxana Slesarenko

Coach  VladimirShevchenko

Team Russiia 2011

Team Scotland 2011 Team Scotland

Second Gregor Ewan
Third Tom Killin
Skip Aileen Neilson
Lead Angie Malone
Alternate Michael McKenzie

Coach Sheila Swan

Team Sweden

Alternate Gert Erlandsson
Skip Glenn Ikonen
Lead Kristina Ulander
Second Patrik Kallin
Third Patrik Burman

Coach Jalle Jungnell

Team Sweden 2011 

Team USA 2011

Team USA

Skip Augusto Pérez
Third Jim Pierce
Second Jim Joseph
Lead Jacqueline Kapinowski
Alternate Penny Greely

Coach Steve Brown


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