Wednesday 17 April 2024

#WMDCC2024 Preview

 #BetweenTheSheets: World Mixed Doubles Curling

Championship Preview

Plus World Senior Curling Championships Preview

What a month we have been having curling fans.

King Niklas Edin wins another world championship.

Canada's Team Gushue and Switzerland's Team Tirinzoni wrap up the tour season with #GSOC Players' Championship titles.

Jennifer Jones took her final competitive women's slide in Toronto as well.

And just this week another legend, Glenn Howard, hung up the slider.

Plus the #FreeAgentFrenzy drama started with men's curling in Canada...especially in Alberta.

Team Bottcher said goodbye to their skipper.

Team Sturmay said goodbye to half their team.

And the social media gossip over who is going where next has been off the hook.

Which players entered which group chats this week?

And which players left which group chats?

Ohhhh the drama!

Surviving all the emotions?

Before we get too excited with off-ice drama, why not shift our attention to world championship ice.

Yes folks, the curling season is not over. We still have a few world champions to crown.

Bring on the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship and World Senior Curling Championships.

This is your preview!

If you are a regular #TwineTime reader, you will know my peaked interest in event logo's.

I mentioned this last year in this very blog preview, commenting on how the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship logo really brought forth respect to the home nation and host city.

What about this year's logo?

To know about the logo, we need to know more about the host city.

Östersund, Sweden is known as "The Winter City" or "Vinterstaden" in Swedish. And yes, I did know how to say "Winter City" in Swedish without looking it up. Thanks Duolingo!

The city also has the nickname of "Centre of Sweden" based on its geographic location.

Östersund has been a host for many world championships in sports like biathlon and speed skating. This is not just a winter city but a winter sport city.

When you first look at the logo, you may wonder why the colours are not natural Swedish colours.

Green, White and Blue?

But when you look at the environment of Östersund, the colours make sense.

From snow-clad mountains to "spice garden lot" green spaces, Östersund has a climate for everyone.

Of course, the obvious answer to the colour palette is those are the same colours as the flag of the Republic of Jamtland, of which Östersund is the capital.

The "snow heart" in the logo is a nice touch as well. It gives a very welcoming vibe to the Winter City for a winter sport. It is the city emblem after all so it is a perfect fit.

But was there a missed opportunity here to have more fun?

The Östersund coat of arms has a moose on it. Just outside the city is a zoo with a Moose Garden.

Why not use the same design in the heart but in the outline of a moose head, matching the coat of arms symbol?

How cool would that have looked?

This is why I love a majority of the World Curling event logo's.

They bring a bit of local flavour to the event and put the host city at the forefront.

Wouldn't it be great to see this happen with the "bigger" events like the world men's and world women's curling championships?

I get there are more restrictions on those event logos due to sponsorship requirements but still.

Can't there be a middle ground where the sponsor names are still prominent but the logo's for those events still match the World Curling logo template for the other events?

What do you think rockheads?

Agree? Disagree?

Would you like to see more creativity for event logo's?

Ok enough logo chatter, bring on the preview....

We should note, similar to the men's and women's world championships, the mixed doubles world championship will be the first opportunity for nations to earn points towards 2026 Winter Olympic qualification.

And the format is the same as the 4-person discipline. Points are earned based on final standings at the world championship.

The Top 7 nations, based on combined points from the 2024 and 2025 world championship, will earn direct qualification.

The remaining 2 spots in the field will come from the nations who survive the Olympic Qualification Event.

Of course, Italy, as host nation, already earned a spot in each discipline.

Bring on the added pressure of representing your nation on the world championship ice.


World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship

Östersund, SWE

2023 Champions: USA (Cory Thiesse/Korey Dropkin)

Format: 20-nation RR with 2 pools of 10. Top 3 in each pool qualify for the playoffs. Pool winners earn bye to SF. 4 nation will be relegated to the 2024 World Mixed Doubles Qualification Event.

Group A

Nations (World Curling MD Ranking): 

Denmark (13), Estonia (12), France (28), Germany (11), Italy (7), Japan (8), Norway (1), Spain (18), Switzerland (6), Turkey (20)


The World Curling nation rankings would have Norway as the #Fav.

The world mixed doubles team ranking would list Estonia.

How about we name co-favs for this group?

You really cannot go wrong with either option to be honest.

Norway's Kristin Skaslien/Magnus Nedregotten have been one of the best mixed doubles duos in the sport for years.

They own Olympic silver (2022) and bronze (2018) medals. They have World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship silver (2021) and bronze (2015).

Notice the one thing missing though. Where is the gold? And maybe it is not a question of "where" but rather "when is the gold coming?" It has to happen, right?

This season the duo sits #3 on the world rankings, with a record of 37-8. They have reached 3 tour finals and won 2 titles. They also reached the QF in their 3 other tour events.

This year will be their 8th world championship appearance and they have unfinished business to attend to after winning silver in their last appearance. Watch out!

Norway may be ranked #3 but who is ranked one spot ahead of them at #2?

Yup, that would be Estonia's Marie Kaldvee and Harri Lill.

Speaking of experience, lets give credit to the Estonian duo too. This year will be their 7th world championship appearance.

Unlike their Norwegian competitors however, they have yet to reach the podium. Their best result has been a 5th place finish last year (2023) and in 2019.

This season, they have a record of 44-18. Wow!

They have qualified in 7 of 10 tour events, including reaching 6 finals and winning 5 titles. They are the highest ranked team in the entire field as world #1, Canada's Team Walker / Muyres, lost the national final.

Interesting to note, who coached this duo at last year's world championship? Magnus Nedregotten.

Who is coaching them this year? Another MD Olympian, Finland's Tomi Rantamaki.

Plus, don't you love their jerseys?


I said it in 2022. I said it in 2023. Why not say it again in 2024?

Watch out for Denmark!

This will be the 3rd consecutive world championship appearance for Jasmin Lander and Henrik Holtermann. Both previous appearances results in 4-5 RR records, missing the playoffs.

Third time's the charm perhaps?

Don't let their world ranking of #97 fool you. They are 14-3 on the season and have slid down the rankings not because of bad results but just a lack of playing more MD events this season. The talent is still there.

They have played 4 tour events. They qualified in 2 of them. And they won 1 tour title while finishing 3rd overall in the other.

Last year they knocked off Estonia and Italy in the RR. They have the game to hang with the best teams in the field.

Can they just put it all together for a full week of curling competition and finally make a run at the playoffs?

Of course the ultimate #TeamUpset in this pool would be the two nations who earned their tickets to Sweden via the qualification event: Germany and France.

Germany's Lena Kapp and Sizten Totzek are a new team, making their debut. Both are familiar names on the European and World championship scene though with their respective women's and men's teams.

France's Wilfred Coulot will make his second world championship appearance, after finishing 4-4 at the second ever world championship in 2009.

His partner, Kseniya Shevchuk, will be making her debut.

They will be in tough against the field to avoid relegation.

Remember, the last place team in each pool is automatically relegated to the world qualification event while the 8th and 9th place teams play relegation cross-over games against the other pool.


This pool is the #PoolOfOpportunity.

Rankings wise, this is the "easier" of the pools. A greater opportunity for all of these teams to find a path to the playoffs and pick up valuable Olympic qualification points.

Norway and Estonia should be clear cut favourites.

Italy, with Olympic champ Stefania Constantini, should be a threat as well with Francesco De Zanna. De Zanna may be making his world debut here but remember he is the alternate member of Team Retornaz, who just won world men's bronze, and he is a past world junior silver medal winner too.

Plus Italy does not have the extra weight of Olympic qualification, having earned a spot in the 2026 field already as the host nation.

If we want to add another couple to the contender list, how about Switzerland's married couple of Briar Schwaller-Huerlimann and Yannick Schwaller? They return for their sophomore appearance after finishing 7th last year. They are also ranked #38 in the world and should be considered a playoff threat.

Note, last year Switzerland missed the playoffs due to the H2H TB procedure. They finished the RR with a 7-2 record. Unfortunately, their 2 losses happened to be against the other 2 teams who finished with identical 7-2 records. Think they have some unfinished business and revenge on their minds?

Turkey will also have a sophomore feeling as Dilsat Yildiz, herself making a 7th appearance, and Bilal Omer Cakir return after a 4-5 RR record last year, 12th place overall.

Spain has experience on their side as well, making their 5th world championship appearance. Last year they finished the RR with a 4-5 record.

And Japan, a nation who reached the championship final last year, will have a new duo on the ice this year. Yamaguchi Tsuyoshi will make his 3rd appearance, first since 2019, with rookie Ueno Miyu.

Group B

Nations (World Curling MD Ranking)

Australia (9), Canada (5), China (14), Czechia (10), Netherlands (25), New Zealand (19), Scotland (2), Korea (17), Sweden (4), USA (3)


Is this the year Canada wins a World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship?

The husband/wife duo of Colton and Kadriana Lott certainly hope so.

In the 15 year history of the event, Canada has only reached the final twice (2017, 2019). Both times losing the final and taking home a silver medal.

Canada only has 2 other podium appearances as well, winning bronze in 2009 and 2018. Last year, Canada lost the bronze medal game.

Hungary has 2 world titles in the discipline. As does Russia. And USA won the title last year.

Canada is not the world leader in mixed doubles curling...and that is not a familiar spot for the Maple Leaf nation.

Rankings wise, Lott/Lott should be the #Fav here as the highest ranked team in the group (#11). They have deep MD experience as well, having lost 2 Canadian finals previously (2018, 2021) and winning an additional bronze medal (2019).

One can easily say they have been one of the most consistent MD pairings in Canada over the past number of years.

But now they broke through and have the Maple Leaf on their backs. And in a season where they did not compete on the MD tour. They only played 2 events this season, winning the Manitoba provincial championship and the Canadian championship.

Yes, 2 big title wins. But no MD events all season could be an achilles' heel against this competition.

We know they have the game. Can they survive the pressure?


When there are arguably 5 teams in this pool very capable of being not only playoff contenders but podium threats, how do you pick a #TeamUpset?

Perhaps we look at experience from a year ago. Korea's Kim Jiyoon and Jeong Byeongjin are back, after a disappointing 16th place finish on home ice.

Without the pressure of being a home team, and no longer world championship rookies, could they break through this season and make some noise?

If we go purely by world rankings this season, this is the #2 team in the group with a #26 ranking. Yes, they are ahead of everyone outside of Team Canada.

They are 15-5 on the season, having qualified in all 3 tour events played reaching 2 SF and 1 QF.

So why are they a #TeamUpset? Look at this pool and their opposition. They are drawn against Olympic participants, world champions and #gsoc champions.

But, if we eliminate full resumes and name recognition and go by season stats, Korea could be the most dangerous team in the field.

Lets also give a shout out to the 2 qualification event survivors: China and New Zealand.

New Zealand's Anton Hood and Courtney Smith will make their second appearance together, having finished 12th in 2021. They could be a strong #TeamUpset contender as well, both coming off world championship appearances with their respective four-person teams. Could they make a strong push towards Olympic qualification points here?

China's Yang Ying and Tian Jiafeng will make their debut this year. And we know never to count out Chinese curling.


This pool is the #PoolOfDeath in the field.

If we look at the World Curling nation rankings, this pool has an average ranking of 10.8 compared to an average of 12.4 for the other pool.

Not to mention you have the #2, #3, #4 and #5 ranked nations in one pool.

4 of the top 5 nations together and only 3 playoff tickets up for grabs? At least 1 of these Top 5 nations is going home early.

Not to mention 2 additional teams who competed at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Czechia and Australia.

And in a year where results matter for Olympic qualification points, this is HUGE!!

Could brother/sister combos dominate the grouping with Sweden's Isabella Wrana and Rasmus Wrana and USA's Becca Hamilton and Matt Hamilton?

Isabella Wrana is having a breakout season, having represented Sweden at the European Curling Championships and will arrive back home in Sweden fresh off a finals appearance at the #gsoc Players' Championship.

Brother Rasmus just won another world men's championship with Team Edin and this combo will have the full support of Swedish curling fans. Not to mention their curling patriarch also competing (more on that below).

The Wrana's are making their 2nd world championship appearance together, having finished 5th in 2022.

The Hamilton siblings both are coming off world championship appearances with their women's and men's teams respectfully.

They will be making their 3rd appearance here together, hoping to improve their 8th place finish in 2022.

What about couplings off the ice with Canada's Kadriana Lott and Colton Lott and Czechia's Zuzana Paulova/Tomas Paul?

We already discussed Canada above but what about the Czechia couple?

They finished 6th at the 2022 Winter Olympics and this year marks their 7th appearance at the world championship, with a best result being bronze in 2013. They reached the QF in 2019 and we all remember their last appearance in 2021 when they won the Olympic qualification play-in game against USA. Who can forget that Olympic celly?

But what about the real story of the 2022 Winter Olympics? Australia!!

Tahlia Gill and Dean Hewitt made history by qualifying Australia into a curling discipline.

And they are having a great season. Currently ranked #27 in the world, they would be the #5 seed in this field behind Estonia, Norway, Canada and Korea.

This year will mark their 5th appearance at the world championship, with a best result being 4th in 2019. Last year they missed the playoffs, finishing 4th in their pool with a 5-4 record.

Speaking of last year, how about #TeamOranje? The Dutch tandem of Vanessa Tonoli and Wouter Goesgens made their world championship debut last year, finishing 14th overall. They will look to improve their record this year.

Then we have the wildcard unknown in the pool. Scotland!

Always a threat in any world championship, Scotland's new pairing of Sophie Jackson and Duncan McFadzean could be the ultimate #TeamUpset as their results could play the deciding factor in how this pool shakes out.

Jackson is a member of Team Morrison, coming off a world women's championship appearance.

McFadzean plays with Team Whyte, who had a breakout season of their own including a Scottish men's championship.

How this pool finishes really is anyone's guess. An argument could be made for over half of this pool to be legit playoff contenders.

But who is a real contender, who is just a challenger and who is a pretender?

#StayTuned folks 👀👀


Group A Projected Standings: 

1. Norway  2. Estonia  3. Switzerland  4. Italy  5. Denmark  6. Japan  7. Germany  8. Turkey  9. Spain  10. France

Group B Projected Standings:

1. Sweden  2. Australia  3. Canada  4. Czechia  5. USA  6. Korea  7. Scotland  8. China  9. New Zealand  10. Netherlands

Relegation Games: New Zealand def. Turkey, China def. Spain

Relegation Nations: Turkey, Spain, France, Netherlands

Playoff Qualifiers: Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Australia, Switzerland, Canada

#WMDCC Bronze Medal: Estonia (Team Kaldvee/Lill) def. Switzerland (Team Schwaller-Huerlimann/Schwaller)

#WMDCC GOLD MEDAL: Norway (Team Skaslien/Nedregotten) def. Sweden (Team Wrana/Wrana)

World Senior Curling Championships


2023 Champions: Canada (Team Rajala)

Format: 25 nation RR with 3 pools of 6 and 1 pool of 7. Top 8 qualify for the playoffs.

Pool A: Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Philippines, Wales

Pool B: Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Scotland

Pool C: Belgium, England, Estonia, Latvia, Switzerland, USA

Pool D: Australia, Czechia, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Sweden


Expansion and format change will be interesting this year.

It is great to see Philippines enter the competition and Nigeria return. A true slide forward and encouraging the #growthesport mentality.

Last year saw 24 nations compete in 3 pools of 8. With adding 1 additional competing nation, the format changed to 4 pools with 1 pool having an extra nation.

And with only 8 nations advancing to the playoff round, qualification tickets will be scarce to find in a crowded field.

If the senior field continues to expand, could we see the playoff format expand as well to allow for 12 playoff teams with the 4 pool winners earning a bye to the QF?

In breaking down the field, this is going to be a fun event to watch.

Look at some of the names competing: Germany's Andy Kapp, Scotland's Hammy McMillan, Canada's Paul Flemming, Sweden's Mats Wrana, Switzerland's Christof Schwaller, Denmark's Mikael Qvist, Czechia's David Sik, New Zealand's Peter Becker, Norwary's Flemming Davanger.

These are skips who have international experience, whether competing at European Curling Championships, Pacific-Asia Curling Championships, World Men's Curling Championships and/or Winter Olympic Games.

If you are looking at a #PoolOfDeath, Pool B is where you want to watch.

Germany, Scotland and New Zealand are together. And watch out for Ireland's Bill Gray. He reached the playoffs last year.

Those are 4 teams all capable of making a run to the playoffs and towards the podium. And 2, if not more, could be going home at the end of the RR.

Pay attention to Pool C as well. Switzerland and Latvia (Ansis Regza) are paired together once again. Last year Switzerland (6-1) advanced out of the pool, behind Sweden's Wrana (7-0), while Latvia (4-3) just missed out.

Belgium joins them as well, having just missed the playoffs last year too with a similar 4-3 RR record.

And we add USA into the Pool C mix, creating a tight competition for the few playoff tickets up for grabs.

Looking for a #TeamUpset / dark horse? Keep those eyes on Norway.

Flemming Davanger may not be the most well-known curling name out of Norway but his resume is impressive. Davanger is most known for his 2 Winter Olympic appearances (1992, 2002).

He was part of the gold medal winning team in 2002, skipped by the legend Pal Trulsen.

Davanger will have familiar names competing with him in Sweden, joined by his Olympic champion teammates Lars Vagverg and Bent Anund Ramsfjell. 

And the 4th member of this team? Johan Hostmaelingen, 4-time Norwegian men's champion who also played lead for the late great Thomas Ulsrud.

We saw Davanger at the 2022 World Senior Curling Championships, just missing they playoffs with a 3-3 record. Who did he finish behind in the pool standings? Sweden's Wrana, Czechia's Sik and Switzerland's Schwaller. All returnees this year. But all in different pools this year as well.

Davanager also reached the QF in 2019.

Advantage Norway?

Lets not forget Team Canada, skipped by Paul Flemming. Flemming has 11 Brier appearances under his slider and should not be overlooked.

Plus, he will try to #DefendTheIce for Canada as the Maple Leaf tries to win a 5th straight world championship (2018, 2019, 2022, 2023).

And of course what do we say about Sweden's Team Wrana? A 5th world senior appearance, having reached the podium every time. Wrana has 2 world senior championships (2016, 2017) alongside 1 silver (2018) and 1 bronze (2022).

One could say the results are of diminishing returns over the years OR one could say consistency, consistency, consistency.

Are you a cup half empty or half full type of person?

For certain we can go to the bank with Sweden being in the playoff mix and fighting for a podium spot. Which spot however is the ultimate question?

And with the women's team (more on them below) being a strong #Fav, could this be the year Sweden wins both championships on home ice?

Last time this championship was held in Östersund, Sweden's Wrana lost the men's final. The women finished 4th.

Consider this year's edition a championship of unfinished business to take care for Sweden.

This is a star-studded senior men's field folks.

Get ready for some excitement...

Playoff Qualifiers: Canada, Norway, Germany, Scotland, Switzerland, USA, Sweden, Czechia

#WSCC2024 Bronze Medal: Switzerland (Team Schwaller) def. Norway (Team Davanger)

#WSCC2024 GOLD MEDAL: Sweden (Team Wrana) def. Germany (Team Kapp)


2023 Champions: Canada (Team Anderson)

Format: 18 nation RR with 3 pools of 6. Top 8 qualify for the playoffs.

Pool A: Canada, Czechia, Finland, Japan, Lithuania, Norway

Pool B: Estonia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Latvia, Sweden, Switzerland

Pool C: Australia, Denmark, England, New Zealand, Scotland, USA


Expansion = #growthesport

Last year the competition featured 15 women's teams. This year, 18 teams will step on the ice.

And, as mentioned with the men's preview, should the competition continue to grow it might be time to change the playoff format to 12 teams.

All eyes will be on Sweden's Anette Norberg. The 2-time Olympic gold medalist, 3-time world champion and 7-time European champion will be making another senior appearance this year.

Her last appearance? 2018.

Where was it held? Östersund.

Her result? 4th place.

Does Norberg have a bit of revenge on her mind heading into the 2024 event? Quite possible.

Resume alone, this is Norberg's championship to win (or lose).

Who can be the main challenger to Sweden's title hopes?

Short response...anyone?! This is a very different looking field compared to a year ago.

Only 7 teams return from a year ago (Finland, Estonia, Hong Kong, Latvia, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia). And only 1 (Ireland) reached the playoffs last year.

Note, of those returning teams, 4 are in Pool B (Estonia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Latvia). And they also draw Sweden. #Yikes

Canada, trying to #DefendTheIce, will have a new representative this year as well with Ontario's Susan Froud being the Canadian champion. Froud will attempt to earn Canada back-to-back world titles and win a 5th world championship out of the last 6 events (remember, there were no championships in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19).

Looking for a #TeamUpset?

Well we cannot name Ireland as they reached the playoff round the past two years. Ireland may not be considered an "elite" curling nation but they continue to prove their competitive prowess on the senior level.

This year's dark horse could be Lithuania. Skip Virginija Paulauskaite has already made #HERstory this season. She led the women's national team to a silver medal at the European Curling Championships B-Division, earning promotion to the 2024 Euro A-Division.

She will be riding some momentum and confidence heading into her world senior debut. And she has experience with her as the rest of the senior women's team have competed at this world championship since 2016.

Sweden will be a favourite and could pull the World Senior Curling Championships #DoubleDouble this year.

But, with how wide open this field is, maybe we also can expect the unexpected and see a few surprises.

Playoff Qualifiers: Canada, Lithuania, Sweden, Ireland, Scotland, USA, Latvia, Japan

#WSCC2023 Bronze Medal: Ireland (Team Sinclair) def. Lithuania (Team Paulauskaite)

#WSCC2023 GOLD MEDAL: Sweden (Team Norberg) def. Canada (Team Froud)

Unfortunately there will be no streaming available for the championships. Full details, including results, for #WSCC can be found HERE


If you are looking for information on how to stream games from the #WMDCC, The Curling Channel has all the details HERE.

And you can stay up to date on all the action from Sweden on the event results page HERE.

To those competing in Sweden and chasing world championship glory, good luck and good curling...the ice is yours!

And the world is watching 👀👀

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