England has football, Canada has ice hockey, France has cycling and Japan has karate! When England held the World Cup or France hosts the Tour De France there is a feeling of a homecoming to the origins of the sport. In four years, karate will feel at home at the Tokyo Olympics.
The same applies to Scotland and their rich history in curling with the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships set to take place in Glasgow’s Braehead arena next week (19-26 November 2016). One of the greatest curling competitions in the world will fittingly take place just miles from curling’s birth place – Paisley Abbey.
Representing Scotland will be Stranraer’s Vicki Adams, playing second stones for Team Muirhead, The side, skipped by Eve Muirhead, which now features former alternate Lauren Gray as lead, won the qualifying competition in straight matches – against Team Hannah Fleming – to secure their place. Now with a new line up, Muirhead will be hoping to go one better than last year and win the tournament in her home nation to add to her sole European title from 2011, in Moscow, Russia. Team Muirhead also welcome back third Anna Sloan, from injury.
They will have to play their A-game as there is a formidable line-up of curling talent heading for Braehead including Switzerland’s Binia Feltscher one of the strongest teams in Europe, having won two of the past three Women’s World Women’s Curling Championships.
The selection of Anna Hasselborg for Sweden was quite contentious as they have so much depth in their ranks, especially among women. Veteran Margaretha Sigfridsson was in the mix to represent her country once again, but skip Anna Hasselborg’s side were deemed to be the in-form side.
The popular Russian quartet, skipped by Anna Siderova, were dethroned this year by Victoria Moiseeva’s team who will represent Russia after shocking the current European champions in a best of seven series to qualify for the Championships.
In the men’s competition, Scotland will be skipped by Tom Brewster, and that team also has a Stranraer link with Hammy McMillan playing lead. Last year’s finalists, Sweden’s Niklas Edin and Peter De Cruz of Switzerland and back again as are former champions Thomas Ulsrud’s rink from Norway with their customary fancy pants.
Tickets are available by contacting the World Curling Federation.