Posted at 11:39 am on March 14, 2013
The best female curlers from around the world have assembled in Riga, Latvia for this weekend’s kickoff to the 2013 World Women’s Curling Championships. Here’s a run down of the teams who are in the hunt for this year’s crown, and who pose the most dangerous threat to Canada’s Rachel Homan.
Of course, we’ll be seeing lots of the regular bunch. Bingyu Wang from China will be back again this year, trying to recreate the magic from 2009 when she stunned the world by claiming China’s first ever world title in curling.
We’re also keeping a close eye on Andrea Schöpp and her rugged team from Germany. Many thought Schöpp had peaked in the late 80s/early 90s when she won the World Championship in 1988 and the Olympics in 1992, back when curling was still only a demonstration sport. But the veteran Germany skip showed that she is still a threat when she won the World Championship again in 2010, knocking off Canada’s Jennifer Jones in the 1 vs. 2 page playoff game. The rest of the German team is loaded with young talent again this year, made up of Imogen Oona Lehmann, Corinna Scholz and Stella Heiss. This blend of experience and youth is often a lethal combination in curling (remember the Russ Howard / Brad Gushue Olympic combo?) so the Germans need to be seriously considered a front runner in this year’s event.
The Russian squad has a little bit of a change this year. Fans are used to seeing the team headed up by the “Supermodel Skip”, Luidmila Privivkova, but this year Privivkova will be stepping into the third position to allow Anna Sidorova to take the helm. The talent is still there, so the Russians will definitely knock out some of the strong teams in this event. Expect to see them make their way to the playoff round. If they can catch a few breaks, they could even win the whole tournament.
But the team that will be watched with most interest will probably be Eve Muirhead of Scotland. The young skip has been compared to Team Canada’s own Rachel Homan, in that Muirhead is also incredibly young and already top of the field. Muirhead dominated at the junior level, winning gold at the World Junior Championships an incredible four times, more than any other skip. With another year of experience under their belt, Team Scotland could pose the biggest threat to Team Canada.
The action gets underway Saturday, March 16th. We’ll be covering the whole event, so follow us on facebook and check back often for updates.