Sunday, 16 May 2021

#WMDCC2021 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: World Mixed Doubles Curling 

Championship Preview

20 nations enter the final #IceBubble of the season

Are you ready to say goodbye to the 2021 curling season rock heads?

I know you are ready to say goodbye to #COVIDcurling at the very least.

The World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship will bring a close to a season like none we have seen before. And lets hope it stays that way.

The #IceBubble has left Calgary.

It has floated over the entire nation of Canada, drifted over the Atlantic Ocean and has now set up show in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Bring on the final championship event of the season.

Similar to the other world championship events this season, this championship will not only crown a world champion but also allocate 7 berths into the mixed doubles field at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

This is HUGE.

But why is this HUGE in comparison to the other world championships?

The Olympic field consists of only 10 nations. China is already there as the host nation. 9 spots remain.

7 of those spots will be determined at this event.

Only 2 tickets will be left to claim with those final spots awarded at the Olympic Qualification Event, site still undetermined.

And this is a field of 20 teams fighting for 7 Olympic tickets and 6 playoff spots.

There will be some very good teams who will fail to claim either of those spots this week.

Also remember, every nation who qualified for the 2020 and 2021 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship is eligible to enter the #OQE.

PLUS there may be 3 additional #OQE spots up for grabs for the highest-ranked previously non-qualified nations. Those spots would be determined by a World Curling Federation Pre-Qualification Event. Details still a bit sketchy on when this would be and what this event would look like. But the option for more nations to qualify is there. 

This means the mixed doubles field at the #OQE could be large with MANY strong teams competing.

It would do those nations competing in Aberdeen well to just make the playoffs inside the #IceBubble and eliminate the #OQE stress.

The #WMDCC2021 event also brings the "R" word back in the house: #Relagation.

We know many curling fans are not supporting of relegation. We learned that during the Scotties/Brier pilot program.

But this is needed on the world championship stage, especially mixed doubles.

There are so many curling member associations fielding mixed doubles teams now. WCF made the call to reduce the field size at the world championships starting this year (technically starting last year but...COVID and all).  

Gone are the days of this championship being an open call for all member associations to enter a team. Now teams have to qualify. And, if they do qualify, they have to avoid finishing at or near the bottom of the standings to keep their spot in the following year's championship.

For the 2021 edition, 4 nations will be relegated.

The two nations who finish last in their pool will automatically be relegated. The teams who finish 8th and 9th in their pools will face off (A8 vs. B9 & A9 vs. B8) in relegation games, where the two losers will also be relegated.

20 nations.

7 Olympic tickets.

6 playoff spots.

4 relegation spots.

Welcome to the 2021 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship!

Bring on the preview....


World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship

#IceBubble, Aberdeen, SCO

2019 Champions: Sweden (Anna Hasselborg/Oscar Eriksson)

Format: 20-team RR with 2 pools of 10. Top 3 in each pool qualify for the playoffs. Pool winners earn bye to SF.

Pool A


Australia (Tahli Gill/Dean Hewitt)
Canada (Kerri Einarson/Brad Gushue)
Czech Republic (Zuzana Paulova/Tomas Paul)
Germany (Pia-Lisa Scholl/Klaudius Harsch)
Hungary (Dorottya Palancsa/Zsolt Kiss)
Italy (Stefania Constantini/Amos Mosaner)
RCF (Anastasia Moskaleva/Alexander Eremin)
Scotland (Jennifer Dodds/Bruce Mouat)
South Korea (Kim Ji-yoon/Moon Si-woo)
Spain (Oihane Otaegi/Mikel Unanue)


Enter the #PoolOfDeath! This pool is STACKED.

An argument could be made this pool alone has 8 nations who could reach the playoffs but also could be Olympic contenders.

We have past two-time world champions Hungary.

We have mixed doubles specialists from Czech Republic, RCF and Spain.

We have 2019 playoff Cinderella story Australia.

And we just happen to have three teams with players who just competed at world championship events from Canada, Italy and Scotland.

All of those nations, outside of Canada, also have mixed doubles world championship experience.

At first glance Canada, Italy and Scotland may have a slight advantage because they have been playing inside an #IceBubble. They know the routine. They know the ins and outs of competing inside a strict environment. And they have competitive games under the sliders.

But, never underestimate those mixed doubles specialist duos either. Those teams with world championship experience have been patiently waiting for their chance to get on world championship ice this season and they are ready to seize the day.

At the end of the day, good teams will go home early. Gone are the days of the 16-team playoff bracket. Every game matters now. 

For comparison sake though, note what a good RR record got you under the past format. Look at Hungary as an example. They finished the 2019 championship with a 7-1 record. What was their final placement? 9th! With 1 loss....Yowie Wowie!!

Only 3 (THREE!!!) teams from this pool will make the playoffs.

Buckle up for this RR rollercoaster ride folks.


Can lightning strike twice on ice for Australia? Tahli Gill and Dean Hewitt surprised many in 2019 when they navigated their way through the RR and playoff bracket in reaching the SF.

Yes they lost the SF and bronze medal game but now they are back and looking for their revenge.

They will be in tough against a very experienced pool but they are also a very experienced duo. Hmmm, maybe they cannot be a #TeamUpset flag bearer in back-to-back years?

The big "upset" to watch in this pool is how Korea fares. The Korean team is very young and will be making their world championship debut.

How young? Both members competed at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games. And here they are competing for a spot in the Winter Olympic Games.

This will be an unknown team for their opposition and that can work in their favour, especially early on.

Plus we all know the theme of mixed doubles: #ExpectTheUnexpected.

Challenging for a playoff, and Olympic, spot might be a stretch but if this team can avoid relegation for Korea, it would be considered a successful debut.

Also keep your eyes on Germany. This is the same duo who booked their spot in the 2020 field by winning one of the qualifiers at the 2019 World Mixed Doubles Qualification Event back in December 2019.

Projected Standings: 1. RCF  2. Scotland  3. Czech Republic  4. Canada  5. Hungary  6. Australia  7. Spain  8. Italy  9. Germany  10. South Korea

Pool B


China (Yang Ying/Ling Zhi)
England (Anna Fowler/Ben Fowler)
Estonia (Marie Turmann/Harri Lill)
Finland (Oona Kauste/Aku Kauste)
Japan (Yurika Yoshida/Yuta Matsumura)
New Zealand (Courtney Smith/Anton Hood)
Norway (Kristin Skaslien/Magnus Nedregotten)
Sweden (Almida de Val/Oskar Eriksson)
Switzerland (Jenny Perret/Martin Rios)
USA (Tabitha Peterson/Joe Polo)


Pool A is the #PoolOfDeath but Pool B is the #PoolOfOpportunity.

There are a few big name favourites highlighting the pool, namely past world champions Switzerland. The Swiss also won the 2018 Winter Olympics silver medal.

Norway also fields an experienced duo, who also happen to be the 2018 Olympic bronze medal winners.

Half of the defending champs from Sweden will be back to #DefendTheIce.

USA's duo won a bronze medal at this world championship in 2016.

England, Estonia and Finland have all been here before but have yet to have that major breakthrough result.

It will be interesting to see which side emerges victorious in this pool. The side with Olympic experience (Switzerland/Norway/Sweden/USA) or the up and coming challengers who have been knocking on the door over the past few seasons (England/Estonia/Finland).

The opportunity is there for those dark horse contenders to make some noise in this pool. The favs better be on high "upset" alert this week.


The rookies can share the #TeamUpset honour in this pool. China, Japan and New Zealand are represented by duo's making their debut at this championship event.

It will not be easy for any of them against an experienced field.

China has the luxury of not stressing over Olympic qualification, so that takes one bit of pressure off the duo. And this is a duo who have competed together before. They earned China a spot in this championship by claiming one of the final qualifier spots at the 2019 qualification event.

Also keep your eyes on New Zealand. They travelled over 30 hours to compete inside the #IceBubble and make their world championship debut.

Similar to Korea in Pool A, this team comes to Aberdeen as a bit of an unknown for most of their competitors and they could parlay that into an advantage.

Projected Standings: 1. Norway  2. Switzerland  3. Estonia  4. Sweden  5. USA  6. England  7. Finland  8. Japan  9. China  10. New Zealand

Relegation Games: Germany def. Japan, Italy def. China

Relegation Nations: Japan, China, South Korea, New Zealand

2022 Winter Olympic Qualifiers: RCF, Norway, Scotland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Canada

Playoff Qualifiers: RCF, Norway, Scotland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Estonia

#WMDCC2021 Bronze Medal: Norway (Skaslien/Nedergotten) def. Switzerland (Perret/Rios)

#WMDCC2021 GOLD MEDAL: Scotland (Dodds/Mouat) def. RCF (Moskaleva/Eremin) - Bruce Mouat is the #IceBubble king. He won a silver medal at the World Men's Curling Championship. He won back-to-back #GSOC titles. And now he is competing on home ice. Why bet against him now?

This will also be Mouat's 5th World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship appearance (2013, 2014, 2016, 2017). He has reached the playoffs every time, including losing the bronze medal game in 2016 (vs. USA's Peterson/Polo).

Those previous appearances were all with former partner Gina Aitken. Mouat is now joined by Team Muirhead second Jennifer Dodds, who is equally capable of pulling off the big shots when needed.

Experience matters and Mouat has it.

Moskaleva/Eremin should not be counted out though either. This is a VERY good team and are not only world championship contenders but legit Olympic gold medal threats. They competed at the 2019 world championship and finished 5th after losing in the QF to Canada. They should go a few rounds better here.

The wildcard advantage for Dodds/Mouat is they played a few mixed doubles events in Scotland against some pretty strong competitors during the pandemic. We saw how those extra games helped Mouat and his men's team. I think it could be the difference maker in this event, working to their advantage.

Plus home ice advantage, even with no fans, still means something. RCF will win the RR battle but Scotland will win the championship war.


The World Curling TV YouTube channel will bring you draw by draw coverage. Their broadcast schedule can be found HERE.

TSN will also cover Team Canada games, starting Wednesday morning with the game vs. Korea.

Also, get your vaccination shot people. The only way we can get through this season and help put a stop to #IceBubble events next season is to stop the spread of #COVID19.

Adhere to local public health orders. Think of the safety of others as well as ensuring the safety of yourself.

And good luck and good curling to all....

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