|Ben Smith in action in Östersund. Photo © WCF / Eric Norrlander|
10 Jan 2017 – New Zealand's Under-21 teams experienced the narrow margins between success and pain at the 2017 World Junior B Curling Championships in Östersund, Sweden this week.
Neither the NZ Men nor the Women progressed beyond the round robin stage, but their final records mask how competitive they were at times through the tournament.
The NZ Women finished with a 1-5 win-loss record, with two of their losses by just a single point. Had those games gone in the Kiwis' favour they would have earned a tiebreaker and a chance of progressing to the playoffs.
The New Zealand Men repeated their slow start in the same tournament a year ago, being well beaten in their first three games. They improved to win three of their remaining four to finish with a 3-4 win-loss ratio, when an extra win would also have earned them at least a tiebreaker.
China went udefeated through the week to win the Men's gold medal. Turkey took silver and Italy beat Germany for the bronze. In the Women's competition, Scotland had a perfect record to win gold. Turkey again gained silver, and Japan headed China in the bronze medal game.
All of the medallists qualified for the next month's World Junior Championships in Korea.
- 28 Dec 2016 – Lofty goals for NZ Junior curlers
- 6 Jan 2017 – Field taking shape at WJBCC 2017
- 9 Jan 2017 – Quarter-finalists confirmed for WJBCC 2017
- 10 Jan 2017 – Scotland women and China men win gold
- NZ Men NZ Men
- NZ Women NZ Women
- Ostersund CC Ostersund CC
- Ben Smith Ben Smith
- Emma Sutherland Emma Sutherland
- NZ v Germany NZ v Germany
- Jessica Smith Jessica Smith
- NZ v Australia NZ v Australia
- NZ v Australia NZ v Australia
- NZ v Slovakia NZ v Slovakia
- Men's medalists Men's medalists
- Women's medalists Women's medalists
Lofty goals for NZ Junior curlers
|Otago's Sweden-bound junior curlers at Dunedin Airport. Photo © NZ Curling / Sharon Thompson|
28 Dec 2016 – New Zealand's best Under-21 curlers arrive in Östersund, Sweden, this week for the World Junior B Curling Championships.
They will join 20 other national Women's teams and 22 Men's teams, all seeking a top-three finish to qualify for the main World Junior Championships in Korea a few weeks later.
Both sides have of a number of players who were at the 2016 World Junior B event, and they will be hoping to utilise that experience to improve on their results of 12 months ago.
Jessica Smith, Holly Thompson and Emma Sutherland will be at their second World Junior B Championships, and they will be joined by Courtney Smith and Eloise Pointon. The NZ Women will be looking to improve on their fifth-equal ranking last time out after reaching the quarter-finals.
Matthew Neilson, Simon Neilson, Ben Smith and Hamish Walker also return from the previous tournament, joined this time by Anton Hood, who had a taste of international curling as alternate for the NZ Men at November's Pacific-Asia Championships. The Kiwi Junior Men were slow to start last time around, and will be targeting at least qualification out of their pool.
Following practice day on Monday 2nd January, the pool rounds will run from Tuesday 3rd through to Sunday 8th. Tiebreakers and Quarter-finals will be held on Monday 9th, and then Semis and Finals on Tuesday 10th.