Put aside thoughts of outside curling and the possibility of a Grand Match, top class curling is on the agenda this weekend. At the Dewar's Rinks in Perth, the Ramada Perth Masters, the second of the Curling Champions Tour events to be held in Scotland this season, goes ahead with the three medallists from the recent Le Gruyere European Curling Championships in Aberdeen in action, alongside the Danish, Japanese and Chinese Olympic squads. This is a thirty-two team triple knockout event, with eight teams qualifying for Sunday's quarterfinals.
Until recently, Niklas Edin (above) and his Swedish rink were just a young but talented combination from Karlstad. But now they are the European Champions! Edin's team are due to meet Graham Shaw's local side in the first round on Thursday at 16.45.
The Chinese Olympic squad is not well known. Bill Duncan notes, “They are going to base themselves in the Fair City for a few days before and after the Perth Masters, to complete their base training before travelling to Canada for their final preparations." Jamie Dick's team get the honour of welcoming Rui Liu and his team to Scottish ice on Thursday at 20.30.
Ramada Perth Masters results will be here, and some games will be webcast. I am unfortunately not able to be in Perth, so I'm looking forward to experiencing watching from a distance!
David Murdoch's GB Olympic team is not in the lineup at Perth. They are taking part in the National, in Guelph, Ontario. The Swiss Chalet National is one of the four men's majors in the World Curling Tour season. The draw is here. Team Murdoch's first game is tonight (Wednesday) against Kerry Burnyk.
Eve Muirhead's GB team though is in the draw for the Bernese Ladies Cup in Switzerland which begins on Friday. This Curling Champions Tour event is also a thirty-two team triple knockout. Three other Scottish teams are in the lineup, skipped by Gillian Howard, Anna Sloan and Sarah Reid. The results should be here.
Pic of Niklas is by Bob