Sean and Bridget Becker in action v Sweden
Mixed Doubles, NZ v Sweden in St Paul. Photo © WCF / Leslie Ingram-Brown

24 Apr 2011 - The Swiss Mixed Doubles team and the Canadian Men's and Women's Senior teams took the gold medals at their respective 2011 World Championships in St Paul, Minnesota during the weekend.

The winning sides all dominated their respective events and were unbeaten throughout the week.

The Senior Men's team skipped by Peter Becker was the best-performed NZ team in St Paul, reaching the playoff rounds for the first time and finishing 6th overall.

The Kiwi Senior Women were 9th, and the Mixed Doubles 14th after a poor start to their week.

2011 St Paul logo

NZ Results Summary

The Swiss made no race of the Mixed Doubles final, scoring a 5 in the first end and cruising to an 11-2 win over Russia. Switzerland has now won this event in three of the four years it has been played. Russia beat New Zealand in last year's final.

France won this year's bronze medal match 8-6 over Sweden.

The Canadian Senior Women were just as dominant in their final, beating Sweden 9-2. The bronze went to Switzerland 5-4 over USA.

The Senior Men's medal games both went to an extra end, with Canada stealing the gold 5-4 from USA, and Australia repeating last year's bronze when they beat Denmark 8-5.


2012 Championships

The World Curling Federation had previously indicated that from 2012 onwards, these championships would likely be moved from April to November of each year. There is now some doubt about this change, and it is also possible that the Mixed Doubles and Seniors championships may not be played in conjunction. More details will be advised when the WCF confirms venues and dates for 2012.

 

Final Standings

Mixed Doubles Senior Men Senior Women
 1  SUI Switzerland  1  CAN Canada  1  CAN Canada
2 RUS Russia 2 USA USA 2 SWE Sweden
3 FRA France 3 AUS Australia 3 SUI Switzerland
4 SWE Sweden 4 DEN Denmark 4 USA USA
14 NZL New Zealand  6 NZL New Zealand  9 NZL New Zealand

 

Earlier articles


 


Earlier Articles

New Zealand run ends at St Paul

23 Apr 2011 – The New Zealand Men's run at the 2011 World Senior Curling Championships came to and end today, with the USA beating Peter Becker's side 6-2 in their quarterfinal.

    Wendy Becker calling the shots
  Above: Wendy Becker calls the sweepers on
Photo: WCF / Leslie Ingram-Brown
Below: Nelson Ede in quarterfinal action vs USA
  Nelson Ede in NZ quarterfinal vs USA

The Kiwis will take some satisfaction though from being the first NZ team to make the playoff round at a World Seniors tournament.

Senior Women

Wendy Becker's NZ Senior Women were the first New Zealand team on the ice for the day. Although near the wrong end of the leaderboard, NZ finished their round robin with a flourish. They leapt out to a 7-1 lead after four ends against the Japanese and went on to record their second win of the week 9-3.

In tomorrow's medal rounds Switzerland will take on the unbeaten Canadians, and USA will play Switzerland.

Senior Men

New Zealand took a single with hammer in the first end, but the USA then took control to lead 5-1 at the fourth end break. New Zealand had hammer coming home still four down, and the Americans expertly ran Team Becker out of stones to win 6-2.

This earned the USA a semi-final against Denmark, who upset previously unbeaten Switzerland in their quarter-final. Hugh Millikin's Australia will take on England in the other Men's semi-final.

Mixed Doubles

Russia, winners of the 2010 final against New Zealand, will play Sweden in the first semifinal of the World Mixed Doubles. Switzerland and France will contest the other.

All semifinal games will get under way at 9:00 am local time (2:00 am NZT). The final and bronze medal games are scheduled for 3:00 pm local time (8:00 am NZT) at the St Paul Curling Club in Minnesota.

 


NZ Senior Men in World playoffs

22 Apr 2011 – The New Zealand Senior Men's team of Peter Becker has become the first NZ Seniors team to qualify for the playoff rounds at any World Senior Curling Championships.

They will play the USA in the quarterfinals of the 2011 tournament in St Paul, Minnesota at 8:00pm Friday local time (1:00pm Saturday NZT).

World Seniors

For the NZ Men today the task was quite clear. If they won their last pool game against Latvia they would finish third in their pool and would qualify. There must have been a few nervous eyes at the scoreboard when they were 2-3 down after five ends, but a triple to NZ and then a stolen double got them home 7-3.

      

It was then down to the tape measures and the calculators to determine the quarterfinal mix. Nine teams (the top three teams in each of the three pools) made in the playoffs, but there's only room for eight teams in a quarterfinal draw. The third placed team with the best draw shot challenge (DSC) result would go direct to the quarters while the other two would play an elimination match.

After discarding the worst pre-match draw shot and averaging the rest, New Zealand's average draw shot distance was 32.98 cm. Germany averaged 33.56 cm and Scotland 58.42, so the Kiwis had the direct route through.

    Bridget and Sean Becker almost there against Hungary
  Bridget and Sean Becker almost there against Hungary
Photo: WCF / Leslie Ingram-Brown

Wendy Becker's NZ Senior Women's team had another two games today. The USA were in control throughout their morning game and ran out 7-1 winners, and the Irish looked comfortable halfway through the afternoon match at 5-1 up. A spirited fightback saw the Kiwis get back to 7-6, but that was as close as it got.

World Mixed Doubles

Bridget and Sean Becker recorded their third straight win in their last pool match, an 8-3 result against the strong Hungarian pair. However, their four losses earlier in the week meant that they were one win short of forcing themselves into a tiebreaker for the playoff rounds – the measure for game against Estonia ultimately proving crucial.

Tomorrow morning the NZ Women will play Japan in their last pool match. All New Zealand eyes will be on the Senior Men when they play the hosts in their quarterfinal later in the day.

 


Good day for NZ at Worlds

21 Apr 2011 – With a tally of three wins from six games, New Zealand's curlers had their best day at the 2011 World Seniors and World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships in St Paul, Minnesota.

The Mixed Doubles team recorded their first wins of the week, and the Senior Men had a crucial win to stay in contention for the playoff rounds.

World Seniors

The Senior Men had a must-win encounter against the Irish in their first match of the day, both teams vying for the third and last playoff spot in the pool. It was tight throughout – a New Zealand two with the opening hammer was immediately cancelled out by their opponents who then stole a couple to go ahead. New Zealand caught up in the sixth end and the teams traded singles to leave the scores locked at 6-6 after eight ends.

Ireland had last stone advantage in the extra end, and with his final rock NZ skip Peter Becker drew perfectly into the the four-foot to put the pressure on the Irish hammer stone. They couldn't match it, and the Kiwis stole a 7-6 result.

 Article continues below
Peter Becker Richard Morgan Nelson Ede and Dave Greer
The NZ Senior Men beat Ireland in an extra end to move up to third in their pool. L to R: Peter Becker; Richard Morgan; Nelson Ede and Dave Greer. Photo: WCF / Leslie Ingram-Brown

The team was back on the ice for the 9:30pm round against co-leaders Switzerland. The scores were locked 3-3 at the break, but it was a Swiss steal in the fifth that proved decisive as they held on to take another tight game 6-4. The NZ Men finished the day in clear third place.

New Zealand's Senior Women were expecting two tough games today and were not disappointed! Sweden were up 5-0 after three ends and retained the advantage to finish 8-3 ahead. The Kiwis started with a double against the Swiss, but their opponents then took the next five ends straight and won 7-3.

World Mixed Doubles

With all chance of quarter-final qualification gone, Sean and Bridget Becker were playing for pride today. Their first opponents were familiar faces – the Australian duo of Hugh Millikin and Kim Forge, two regular visitors to the Becker's home rink in Naseby. The New Zealanders impressed from the outset, stealing a triple in the first end and a couple more in the fifth to record their first win of the week 7-5.

"I think we were just determined to win a game and we are relaxed now," said Bridget after the game. "We are out of the championship now and we thought we might as well just enjoy the rest of the tournament – and look what happens!"

Playing Korea in the late game they found themselves 2-4 down at the break, but produced a 5-pointer to rock their opponents and then stole the next. A final 9-5 scoreline gave them their second win of the day.

Most interest for the New Zealand teams tomorrow will be the Senior Men's last pool match against winless Latvia. If Peter Becker's side win they will secure third spot and and with it either a quarter-final spot or a quarter-final elimination match. A loss could still see them in clear third, or at worst a tiebreaker.

The Senior Women play USA and then Ireland, and the Mixed Doubles will complete their tournament with a match against Hungary.

 


NZ Senior Men in the hunt

20 Apr 2011 – The New Zealand Senior Men did all that was asked of them on Day 3 of the combined 2011 World Mixed Doubles and World Seniors Curling Championships in St Paul, Minnesota.

Peter Becker's side recorded the only NZ win of the day to keep their playoff hopes alive.

World Mixed Doubles

    Bridget Becker in the NZ match vs Estonia
  No shortage of concentration from Bridget and Sean
Becker in their 4th-round clash with Estonia.
Photos: WCF / Leslie Ingram-Brown
  Sean Becker in the NZ match vs Estonia

The disappointing run of losses continued for Bridget and Sean Becker as they faced Estonia, also winless going into their fourth-round game.

A stolen 3 in the third end helped the Kiwis out to an early 3-1 lead, but the Estonian pair won the next three ends to lead by a point. A New Zealand single tied the match up, but their opponents had hammer coming home. It couldn't have been closer – a measure confirmed that Estonia would secure the one point they needed for a 6-5 win.

"We had a couple of measures go against us in that game," said Sean after the match. "We didn't make the shots when we needed to make them. We missed about three shots for deuces and ended up giving them the chance to steal."

"We haven't really been playing very well this tournament, it's as simple as that. I don't know why. Some days it works and some days it doesn't – that's curling!"

World Seniors

The New Zealand Senior Men put yesterday's disappointing result against Australia behind then when they played Russia today.

The teams cautiously exchanged singles with hammer for the first three ends, but then stolen triples either side of the break allowed the Kiwis to take control to win 8-4 and secure their second win from three games.

The NZ Men could perhaps be excused for having half an eye on the playoff rounds, uncharted territory for any New Zealand team at the World Seniors. The top three teams from the pool of eight go through and NZ currently lie fourth. They play the second and third-ranked sides – Ireland and Switzerland – tomorrow.

NZ skip Peter Becker was upbeat following their win. "We kept it a lot more open today and played a more open game the whole way, that was probably the key to our success", he said. "My team were very good – they played and performed very well."

Wendy Becker's NZ Senior Women had to wait until 9:30pm before their only game of the day against Scotland. The Kiwis kept it close for much of their match before the Scots eased out to a 7-2 victory.

All three New Zealand teams have a tough day tomorrow with two games each. The Mixed Doubles will have an especially long Wednesday (local time) as they play Australia at 8:00am, and Korea at 9:30pm. The Senior Men have their crucial games against Ireland and Switzerland, while the Senior Women will face tough competition from Sweden and Switzerland.

 


The curse of the 5 pointers

19 April 2011 – New Zealand's Senior Women's team provided the only good news for the Kiwis on Monday at the combined 2011 World Mixed Doubles and World Seniors Curling Championships in St Paul, Minnesota.

Unfortunately, there was not a lot to cheer about on the second day of competition for the Senior Men or Mixed Doubles teams.

World Seniors

Wendy Becker and her side were on the wrong end of a high-scoring early morning game against the Czech Republic, going down 7-10. However they bounced back in style later in the day as they compiled a couple of 4-point ends on their way to a 12-5 trumping of the English to record their first win of the week.

2011_wsccm_nzl_v_aus_r2.jpg     
Not much for Peter Becker to smile about with his
side already 11-1 down going into the fifth end.
Photo: WCF / Leslie Ingram-Brown
 

The New Zealand Senior Men met a well-known opponent in their only game of the day when they faced Hugh Millikin's Australians. It was a lop-sided result for the green and gold though, a 13-2 win to the Aussies. The game was effectively over well before the break; Australia followed a 5-pointer in the second end with big steals in the third and fourth.

World Mixed Doubles

Sean and Bridget Becker were sitting at 2-2 after three ends of their first match of the day against Japan. As with the Senior Men, it was a 5 pointer in the next that sunk New Zealand hopes and proved to be the difference as Japan went on to take the match 8-3.

The Becker siblings came out for their 9:30pm match against Finland desperate to record their first win and get their campaign back on track. The sides traded singles for four ends and followed that up with a triple each to have the scores level at 5-5 with two ends to play. It was yet another 5-pointer that wrecked NZ hopes, Finland winning 10-5.

The target of Mixed Doubles quarter-final qualification looks difficult now, with NZ sitting at 0 from 3 and all teams having four rounds to play. The top three in each group will head for the play-offs.

The three NZ teams have one game each tomorrow (Tuesday local time).

 


Slow start for NZ in St Paul

18 April 2011 – A first-up 8-6 win for the New Zealand Senior Men's team over Wales was the only success for NZ's curlers in St Paul yesterday.

New Zealand teams are competing in the 2011 World Mixed Doubles and the World Senior Men's and Women's Curling Championships.

World Seniors

First on the ice for NZ in the tournament's opening draw were Wendy Becker's team in the Senior Women's competition. Playing Russia, the scores were tied at 3-3 after four ends and 6-6 after seven, with the Kiwis having stolen three ends at that stage. NZ held last stone advantage in the eighth and final end, but Russia's only steal of the match gave them an 8-6 win. 

   Sean and Bridget Becker in action v Sweden
   Sean and Bridget Becker lie 3 during their
opening match against Sweden in St Paul
Photo: WCF / Leslie Ingram-Brown

Peter Becker's NZ Senior Men played their only game of the day in the second draw. They led Wales 5-2 at the half-way stage, but then dropped three consecutive ends to trail 5-6 coming home. NZ took an emphatic 3 with hammer though to record an 8-6 victory.

In their evening game against Canada the NZ Women were chasing throughout, going down 2-7.

World Mixed Doubles

NZ's Sean and Bridget Becker stole the first end of their game against the strong Swedish pair. Not much else went their way however, as they trailed 3-4 after four ends and then dropped three consecutive singles. The teams shook hands before the eighth end was completed as Sweden took a 7-3 result.

 


Kiwis on the World stage in USA

15 April 2011 – The final World Curling Federation (WCF) championships of the 2010-2011 season get underway on Sunday 17 April when Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA plays host to the 2011 World Mixed Doubles Championship and the 2011 World Senior Men's and Women's Curling Championships.

New Zealand will be represented in all three competitions.

The two events will run until Saturday 23 April and will be staged simultaneously in the historic eight-sheeter St Paul Curling Club which was originally founded in 1888 and is currently the largest curling club in the United States.

World Mixed Doubles

The Mixed Doubles World Curling Championship is now into its fourth year, having been inaugurated in Vierumaki, Finland in 2008 and then held in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy in 2009 and last year in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

Altogether 24 nations will participate in the Mixed Doubles event in St Paul: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and hosts USA.

2011 NZ Mixed Doubles team, Bridget and Sean Becker    
NZ Mixed Doubles team: Bridget Becker, Sean Becker
Photo: WCF / Leslie Ingram-Brown
 

Among the competitors this year are Bridget and Sean Becker of New Zealand, the sister and brother team who took silver in Chelyabinsk last year – NZ's first ever World Championship medal. György Nagy and Ildiko Szekeres return to represent Hungary after taking silver in 2009. And the Spanish duo, Sergio Vez and Irantzu Garcia, will be hoping to improve on their fourth place finish in Russia last year after they lost the bronze medal game to China.

For this Championship, the 24 Mixed Doubles teams have been divided into three groups. Each group will play a round robin before quarterfinals on Friday 22 and semi-finals and medal games on Saturday 23.

World Seniors

This is the tenth edition of formally-sanctioned WCF World Senior Curling Championships. Altogether 21 senior men’s teams and eleven senior women’s teams will be competing in games that are limited to eight-ends. To be eligible to play in these senior championships players must not be less than 50 years of age as at 30th June 2010.

The nations represented in the men’s event are: Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and Wales. The senior men will play in the same competition format as the Mixed Doubles.

2011 NZ Senior Men
NZ Senior Men: Peter Becker, Richard Morgan, Nelson Ede, Dave Greer, John Sanders
Photo: WCF / Leslie Ingram-Brown

The nations involved in the women’s event are: Canada, Czech Republic, England, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and USA. These eleven teams will be in one group and will play a single round-robin series. Wendy Becker will skip the NZ Women's team, with Liz Matthews, Carolyn Cooney, Christine Bewick and Pauline Farra.

As with the Mixed Doubles – quarterfinals for the seniors will take place on Friday 22 with semi-finals and medal games being staged on Saturday 23.

2011 NZ Senior Women
NZ Senior Women: Wendy Becker, Liz Matthews, Carolyn Cooney, Christine Bewick, Pauline Farra
Photo: WCF / Leslie Ingram-Brown

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