I continue to be amazed at the variety our sport of curling brings to my life, and to this blog! Yes, I've been following some of the best teams in Scotland and in Europe competing at the Edinburgh International. Today, the following was done online, and watching this evening's webcast. Excellent that was, too.
I had an eye further afield, to Nanjing, China, where in front of a home crowd at the Olympic Sports Center, the Chinese men, skipped by Rui Liu, beat New Zealand (skip - expat Scot Peter de Boer) 5-2. In the women’s final, Bingyu Wang led her Chinese team to their fifth championship title, winning 11-3 against Korea (skip Ji-Sun Kim). All four of these teams gained their places in their respective World Championships. You can read more on this here.
At home, I visited both the Galleon Centre and the Greenacres rink today, both quite different venues, and quite different events. The Galleon was hosting the British Open Wheelchair Curling Championship. I've posted a few photos from this event below, to give you a flavour, and you can follow the results of the playoffs tomorrow here.
Later at Greenacres, I enjoyed the bustle of a packed rink as twenty-four under-17 teams contested the Baljaffray Trophy. Photos from this visit will go up tomorrow (hopefully), once I get some time to sort through the negatives! All the results though are here.
Our top skip Aileen Neilson did not have it all her own way this morning as her team of Tom Killin, Bill Masterton and Angie Malone lost to Rosemary Lenton's side, but they have still qualified for tomorrow's semifinals. "Nice hat, Aileen!"
Here's Angie, braced by Tom, with Jim Sellar, David Morgan and Robert McPherson, from the Lenton team, behind. "Er... Nice hat, Angie!"
And here's Rosemary, braced by Robert.
Here's Bill in action too.
Gordon Rainey, braced by Alec Harvie.
Murray and Evelyn Cran.
Stephen McGarry, braced by Jeff Ward.
Gregor Ewan and Jim Gault. Scary business this wheelchair curling, let me tell you!
Mike McKenzie suggests to Jackie Cayton what they'll be doing next!
I was happy with this shot of Angie and Tom.
Now, I have a wee story about these 'new faces', L-R: Stephen McGarry, Jeff Ward, Stewart Pimblett and Paula Longrigg hail from the north of England, and travel to Kelso for their curling. They have come into wheelchair curling from other sports, and are fiercely competitive. They are on a steep learning curve of course. They really need two things. Some sponsorship to help with their travel expenses in particular. And a coach who can help them towards their competitive goals - which have to be representing England of course. Are their any blogallies from south of the border who might be able to offer help?
Photos © Skip Cottage