Playoffs set at World Qualification Event


The playoffs have been determined at the 2022 WQE in Lohja, Finland. (Photo: Hellen Koskinen/World Curling Federation)

By: Cameron Sallaj

After four days of round robin play, the playoff bracket has been determined for the 2022 World Qualification Event. Russia, the Netherlands and Finland secured spots in the men's playoff round while Norway, Denmark and Latvia stayed alive in the women's event.

In the men's competition, Russia's Sergey Glukhov topped the round robin with a 5-1 record. Glukhov, with third Dmitry Mironov, second Evgeny Klimov, lead Anton Kalalb and alternate Daniil Goriachev only suffered defeat once to the Finnish team en route to first place in the round robin. The Russian squad posted a 48-30 points for/points against ratio through to round robin as well, higher than any other team in the field. Glukhov's team will also represent the Russian Olympic Committee at the 2022 Winter Olympics next month.

Next in the men's standings was a tie for second place between the Netherlands' Wouter Gosgens and Finland's Kalle Kiiskinen. Both rinks went through the round robin with 4-2 records. The Netherlands lost to Russia's Glukhov and Japan's Takumi Maeda while Finland fell to the Netherlands and Turkey's Oguzhan Karakurt in their two defeats. The Dutch team earned second place overall by virtue of their head-to-head victory over the Finnish side.

The men's event at the 2022 World Qualification Event was rounded out by Turkey, Japan, Spain and Chinese Taipei. Turkey's Oguzhan Karakurt and Japan's Takumi Maeda both went 3-3 through the round robin, one game shy of advancing to the three team playoff bracket. Spain's Sergio Vez finished the event with a 2-4 record while Chinese Taipei's Lin Ting-li went winless in their six matches.

Russia, the Netherlands and Finland all now advance to the playoff round where two of them will qualify for the 2022 World Men's Curling Championship. By finishing first and second, Russia and the Netherlands will meet in the first qualification game with the loser taking on Finland for the second spot in the World Championship.

On the women's side of the draw, Norway, Denmark and Latvia all survived the round robin. Norway's Marianne Rorvik bested the rest of the field and finished with an unblemished 6-0 record. The Norwegian team of Rorvik, Mille Nordbye, Eirin Mesloe and Martine Ronning defeated higher ranked teams like Denmark 7-4 and Latvia 10-4 to finish first overall. Rorvik is looking to return to her first World Championship since 2011 and return Norway to the event for the first time since 2015. The team is also coming off a first place finish at the European Curling Championships and will hope to carry that momentum forward.

Despite their losses to the Norwegian squad, Denmark's Madeleine Dupont and Latvia's Evelina Barone also defeated the rest of the field to qualify for the playoff round. Denmark finished 5-1 while Latvia was one game behind at 4-2. In their head-to-head match, the Danish team overpowered the Latvian side 10-4 to earn a spot in the first qualification game. This World Qualification Event is also serving as a tune-up event for Dupont's Danish team of Mathilde Halse, Denise Dupont and My Larsen as the team will represent Denmark in the Olympic Games next month.

Norway and Denmark will play in the first qualification game Saturday morning with the loser taking on Latvia for the final qualification spot in the afternoon game.

Also in the women's event were Finland, Hong Kong, Brazil and Czech Republic. Finland's Miia Ahrenberg finished the event with a 3-3 record with Hong Kong's Ling-Yue Hung right behind them at 2-4. Brazil's Isis Oliveira finished in sixth at 1-5. The Czech Republic team, who were one of the favorites going into the event, had to pull out the day before competition began due to two positive PCR tests, forcing them to withdraw. Instead of sending a backup team to the event, the Czech Curling Association decided to forgo their position in the event. All of Czech Republic's games were marked as "Did not Start", and they ranked at the bottom of the table with an 0-6 record.

Each year, the World Qualification Event serves as a final qualifier for nations to qualify for the Men's and Women's World Curling Championships. Two teams will advance through the men's and women's sides to their respective championships, along with the other eleven teams who have previously qualified.

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