Team China after their playoff win
Team China after their playoff win to qualify for the LGT World Women's Curling Championship 2019. Photo © WCF / Clare Toia-Bailey

23 Jan 2019 – China and Finland claimed the final two places at the LGT Women’s World Curling Championship 2019 when they won their playoff games at the World Qualification Event in Naseby today.

At the same time, Korea and the Netherlands earned their entry for the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Championship 2019.

Eight teams of each gender had started the 6-day tournament, and when the round robin ended yesterday the top three from each had qualified for today’s two playoff sessions.

Top qualifiers Finland met China in the first Women’s playoff.

NZ Men v Denmark
NZ Men played the Netherlands in their final game. Photo © WCF / Clare Toia-Bailey

22 Jan 2019 – Korea, England and the Netherlands will contest the Men’s playoffs at the World Curling Qualification Event in Naseby tomorrow. The New Zealand hosts were eliminated by millimetres after a countback.

The winners of the two playoff games will complete the field for the 2019 Men’s World Curling Championship in Canada.

At the same time, Finland, China and Hungary will play off for the remaining two places in the lineup at the Women’s World Championship in Denmark.

The Women’s playoff contenders were known after their second-to-last round robin session, but it took both final sessions for the Men before the playoff lineup was known. England and Korea went into the morning session unbeaten, but they were beaten there by New Zealand and the Netherlands respectively, the other top-three contenders.

Scott Becker at WQE 2019
New Zealand's Scott Becker at the 2019 WQE in Naseby. Photo © WCF / Clare Toia-Bailey

21 Jan 2019 – Four Men’s teams – England, Korea, New Zealand and the Netherlands – are vying for three playoff spots at the World Curling Qualifying Event in Naseby.

The Women’s playoff teams are confirmed with a round still to play. Finland, China and Hungary will fight it out for the two remaining places at the World Women’s Championship.

Finland’s Women became the first team to qualify for the playoffs. They met China, the other previously unbeaten team, during the morning session on the third day of play and won 8-6, helped along by a score of 4 points in the sixth end.

Finland’s skip Oona Kauste commented, “The European Championships in Estonia was a big disappointment [for us], and we took time to decide what to do next.”

Oona Kauste (Finland) at 2018 European Championships
Oona Kauste (Finland) at 2018 European Championships. Photo © WCF / Stephen Fisher

20 Jan 2019 – Unbeaten Korea and New Zealand met in the Men’s morning feature match on the third day of the World Curling Qualifying Event in Naseby today. Neither side showed their best form as both missed opportunities to dominate.

Eventually Korean skip SooHyuk Kim tapped back a New Zealand stone with the final shot of the match to score 3 points, and so claim a 7-5 victory.

“We made it!” was his comment after the game. “It was not really the proper process to make this win, but we just did our best.”

England also kept their clean sheet with a 7-5 win against Poland, and the Netherlands had a solid 10-3 result over Brazil.

Scott Becker at 2018 Pacific-Asia Championships
Scott Becker (NZ) at the 2018 Pacific-Asia Championships. Photo © WCF / Tom Rowland

19 Jan 2019 – England, Korea, and New Zealand are the undefeated Men’s teams after the second day of the World Qualification Event in Naseby. China and Finland have perfect records in the Women’s competition.

The Chinese Women made a strong start in the first session of the day, jumping out to an early 6-1 lead after three ends. A Hungary fightback in the second half of the match was not enough to prevent a 10-6 victory to China.

China’s skip Jei Mei felt her team was still improving. “This is pretty new ice for us, so we just want to get to know the ice more,” she said. “After two games we are getting better but we need to improve our focus through the games and improve strategically.”

Other games in the Women’s early session saw Finland beat Brazil 10-2 in seven ends, and Estonia drew the last stone of the game onto the button to beat New Zealand 8-5.

Anne Shibuya, Brazil
Anne Shibuya (Brazil) at the 2018 World Mixed Championship. Photo © WCF / Jeffery Au

18 Jan 2019 - Critical steals were the order of the day through the first round of the World Qualification Event 2019 in Naseby today.

Eight men’s and eight Women’s teams are contesting the final two available places in their respective World Curling Championships.

The Women’s teams were the first to take to the ice, where Brazil created their own piece of curling history with their first international win. They stole the last two ends to head Estonia 10-6.

Skip Anne Shibuya was understandably delighted. “I’m very, very proud of my team and the game we played was very good,” she said. “I was just expecting to play a competitive game and do our best.”

Anton Hood at 2018 WJBCC
Anton Hood at the 2019 World Junior B Championship. Photo © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

14 Jan 2019 - The biggest international curling tournament ever held in New Zealand gets under way in Naseby, Central Otago this week, and the home teams are keen to make a statement.

The World Qualification Event, jointly hosted by New Zealand and Australian Curling, will run at Naseby's Maniototo Curling International rink from this Friday 18 January for six days.

It is a repechage to find the final two countries to compete at the 2019 Men's and Women's World Championships, with eight Men's and eight Women's teams from 13 countries taking part.

Naseby's Anton Hood will throw second stones for the Kiwi Men. He arrived home from Finland yesterday with a gold medal from the NZ Junior Men's first ever win at the World Junior B Championship.

The Curler at MCI, Naseby
"The Curler" will greet the teams in Naseby. Photo © NZCA

5 Dec 2018 – The most significant international curling tournament ever held in New Zealand will take place in Naseby, Central Otago next month.

The World Qualification Event, jointly hosted by the New Zealand Curling Association and the Australian Curling Federation, will run at Naseby's Maniototo Curling International rink from 18 to 23 January.

Eight Men's and eight Women's national teams will take part. The top two in each competition will qualify for the remaining two places in their respective 2019 World Championship.

"We're delighted with the chance to host a range of teams from around the world," said NZ Curling Chairman Sam Inder, "many of them for the first time."

"The 2019 Men's and Women's World Championships are the first chance for teams to put themselves in the frame for the 2022 Winter Olympics," he continued. "So the World Championship spots up for grabs here will be keenly contested. The stakes are high and we'll see some great competition."