Two teams will get to further their hopes toward the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, as the second ever World Wheelchair-B Curling Championship (WWhBCC) begins Friday (4 November) in Lohja, Finland.
The seven-day Championship will feature a record 16 teams competing for the two remaining spots available in the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2017 (WWhCC), which will be held 4-11 March in PyeongChang, South Korea; the WWhCC 2017 is the last qualification event for PyeongChang 2018.
The teams taking part are split into two groups:
Group A: England, Israel, Italy, Scotland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, Turkey
Group B: Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Japan, Latvia, Poland, Chinese Taipei
Chinese Taipei and Turkey are making their wheelchair curling Worlds debuts. Slovakia and Finland were both relegated from the 2016 WWhCC in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Host nation Finland are led by WWhCC 2015 bronze medallist Markku Karjalainen, and include Yrjo Jaaskelainen (third), Sari Karjalainen (second), Vesa Leppanen (lead) and Riitta Sarosalo (alternate).
The Championship also sees Sochi 2014 bronze medallist Aileen Neilson, who will lead her Scottish team featuring Gregor Ewan (third), Hugh Nibloe (second), Robert McPherson (lead) and Angie Malone (alternate).
Both groups will play a round-robin stage beginning on Friday, with the top three teams from each group proceeding to the play-off stages. If required, teams will play one round of tie-breakers on Wednesday (9 November), to determine the final rankings. The top ranked team from each group will progress directly to the semi-finals taking place at on Thursday (10 November). The second and third placed teams will play a qualification round on Wednesday evening for the remaining semi-final places.
The semi-final winners will qualify for the WWhCC 2017 and play for the gold medals, while the semi-final losers will compete for bronze medals.
The complete schedule of the World Wheelchair-B Curling Championship 2016 can be found on World Curling’s website, as well as the complete list of teams.
The Championship can be followed on World Curling’s Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) pages.