The Russian and Dutch men along with the Danish (Photo: Hellen Koskinen/World Curling Federation) and Norwegian women have locked up the final spots at this years men's and women's World Championships.
By: Cameron Sallaj
Saturday in Lohja, Finland, the 2022 World Qualification Event came to a close. The championship saw the last two spots in the 2022 Men's and Women's World Curling Championships get locked up.
In the men's playoff round, Russia's Olympic squad skipped by Sergey Glukhov wrapped up the first qualification spot with a 6-3 win over the Netherlands' Wouter Gosgens. The Russian side began the game with hammer and quickly opened up a 3-0 lead after three ends of play. The teams traded singles the rest of the game, with the Netherlands unable to score three points to tie in the tenth end.
The win earned Glukhov's Russian side a spot in the World Championship, a tournament at which they did very well in 2021. In Calgary, the Russian Curling Federation had their best finish at the event ever with an 11-4 fourth place finish. The team picked up multiple surprise victories en route to their first playoff appearance, including wins against Canada's Brendan Bottcher, Scotland's Bruce Mouat and the United States' John Shuster. Their successful run earned them a spot in the 2022 Beijing Olympics, which they will compete at next month. Glukhov's lineup is completed by third Dmitry Mironov, second Evgeny Klimov, lead Anton Kalalb and alternate Daniil Goriachev.
Despite their loss, the Dutch side had a second opportunity to qualify for the Worlds in the second qualification game against Finland's Kalle Kiiskinen. After trailing 4-1 at the break, the Netherlands shutout the Finnish side 8-0 in the second half of the game for a huge 9-4 victory. Wouter Gosgens and his team of third Jaap van Dorp, second Laurens Hoekman, lead Carlo Glasbergen and alternate Alexander Magan will look to improve on their 2-11 record from the 2021 Worlds at the 2022 event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The field for the 2022 World Men's Curling Championship is now complete and will consist of Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. The event will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada from April 2-10.
In women's play, Denmark's Olympic team, skipped by veteran Madeleine Dupont, secured the first qualification spot with a narrow 7-6 win over Norway's Marianne Rorvik. Denmark took two in the fourth end to take a two point lead before the Norwegians responded with three in the fifth end. The Danish side took two in the eighth and a steal of one in the ninth to go up two coming home. Norway only managed to score one in the final end, not enough to force an extra.
Dupont's squad of third Mathilde Halse, second Denise Dupont and lead My Larsen will have a quick turn around as they prepare to represent Denmark at the 2022 Winter Olympics. The team earned their spot in the Olympics with a surprise fifth place finish at the 2021 Worlds in Calgary. The team then struggled at the European Championship, finishing 2-7 which relegated them to the World Qualification Event. This will be Madeleine Dupont's thirteenth time to the World Championship.
Norway's Rorvik picked up the second qualification spot in the Worlds following an 8-6 win over Latvia's Evelina Barone. The game was decided in the sixth end when the Norwegian side took a steal of three, a deficit too large for the Latvians to come back from. This will be Norway's first appearance at the World Women's Championship since 2015 where Kristin Skaslien skipped the country to a 1-10 record. Skaslien played with this Norwegian team at the European Championships in November where they won first place in the B Division. It is undecided yet if Skaslien will join the team again now that they are qualified for the World Championship as she will also compete in mixed doubles with Magnus Nedregotten at the Olympics in February. The Norway team also includes Mille Nordbye, Eirin Mesloe and Martine Ronning.
The 2022 World Women's Curling Championship field is now finalized: Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, Scotland, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States. The event will be held in Prince George from March 19-27.