I must say that I have watched with interest the growth of curling in Asia and the Pacific region. In the 80s I drove around a young Japanese boy's team on their first excursion overseas (they played at Greenacres and Inverness), and I remember clearly watching the Japanese women's team trying to get into the worlds in a qualification competition in Engelberg in 1989. Seems like yesterday!
Lots has happened since then of course. I applauded the decision of the WCF to expand the world events to twelve teams, even though that would mean the splitting of the two events. The plus was that there was room to expand the curling world.
So what's significant about any of this to Curling Today? Well, the Pacific Championships began today in Beijing to find which countries will occupy the two slots available in both the Men’s and Women’s World Championships later this season.
Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea and New Zealand are contesting the men’s event. China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Australia are in the women’s event.
There is no local website for the event, apparently. And I was all set to castigate the WCF that their new website has no details of teams or scores either. (It's definitely a case of new is not necessarily better in this case). As of tonight, there is nothing on the home page to indicate that the championships are taking place. Now, is that not a poor show?
However, I knew the results had to be there.... somewhere. Pal Ahlgren does a great job on all the stats, and Keith Wendorf, the WCF Director of Competitions, is in Beijing and feeding the results to everyone interested. So, with a bit of digging I eventually found the results and team lists! Everything is here.
Right, I usually illustrate my posts with a pic. I'm pretty sure the photo below (by Hugh Stewart) is Japan's Moe Meguro who is skipping the Japanese team in Beijing. This is from Aomori last year. I found this website when trying to confirm the identity! It shows that Moe is indeed a left hander. Apologies if I've got it wrong. But it's a great photo, especially to see a worried looking umpire, Christine Shaw, in the background. (And if anyone is asking, when I saw Christine recently she was looking great after her illness). So, did Moe win her first game today. No, down 7-6 to Bingyu Wang's Chinese side.
And the men? Hugh Milliken's Australia lost their first game to China.
Now, I if I can just find a photo from 1989?
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