FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2014
USA teams open with wins at 2014 World Senior, World Mixed Doubles championships
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - USA's teams were perfect on day one as the 2014 World Senior Curling Championships and 2014 World Mixed Doubles Championship got underway in Dumfries, Scotland.
Round robin competitions in both events began today at the Dumfries Ice Bowl. USA's senior men's team, led by Jeff Wright (Libertyville, Ill.), started the winning ways for the Americans with an 8-5 victory over Hungary's Andras Rokusfalvy rink in the late morning draw.
"We have been here for three days already and it was so good to finally play! The ice is very nice, it curls well, it has a good speed, I cannot complain about it. The Hungarian team played well. Our goal is to win 10 matches here, so we have a long way to reach our goal, the gold."
Wright (Libertyville, Ill.) and teammates Russ Armstrong (Lake Bluff, Ill.), Russ Brown (Lake Forest, Ill.), Jim Wilson (Chicago), and Nils Johansson (Highland Park, Ill.) scored the deuce in the opening end and broke open the game in the third with a five-ender scored. That lead paved the way to the team's victory in their rookie debut at the world championships. "Apart from the third end we played pretty well. We won four ends, we even stole one, which is a very nice result against the always strong Team USA," Rokusfalvy said after his team's loss.
Margie Smith and the U.S. ladies had a similar start to the competition. Smith (St. Paul, Minn.) and teammates Norma O'Leary (Silver Bay, Minn.), Debbie Dexter (St. Paul, Minn.), and Shelly Kosal (Edgerton, Wis.) scored six points in the second end en route to an eventual 9-4 win over England's Judith Dixon rink.
The U.S. senior teams return to the ice on Friday with each side playing two games. The U.S. men take on New Zealand (0-1) in the morning and Russia (0-1) in the evening. The ladies battle Austria in the late morning draw and then face New Zealand (1-0) in the early evening.
The U.S. mixed doubles team of Joyance Meechai (New York City) and Steve Gebauer (Minneapolis, Minn.) also had the offense ramped up today as the duo scored in the first three ends against Germany's Andrea Fischer and Stefan Knohl that set up a comfortable early lead. Germany struggled to score points and the Americans earned a 10-2 victory.
"It is very comfortable here: the ice is smooth, the German team was very friendly," Meechai said after the win. "As we teamed up in the summer, this is our first mixed doubles world championship, and it is a big deal for us to be here. Our main goal is to have fun and enjoy every moment here."
Getting the team's first win at an international competition places the U.S. into a first-place tie Group D. "The setting is comfortable, the ice is great. We are here for a fun adventure, but as athletes, of course we like to win," Gebauer said.
Their next game is tomorrow against Norway (0-0). That game is slated to take place at 3:45 p.m. local (9:45 a.m. CT). The mixed doubles round robin consists of seven games with two set to be streamed live via the World Curling Federation's YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV.
USA line scores, Seniors:
Hungary 010 201 1x - 5
*USA men 205 010 0x - 8
*England 101 002 0x - 4
USA women 060 110 1x - 9
*USA 411 020 2x - 10
Germany 000 101 0x - 2
Senior Women, Group A:
New Zealand 1-0
Czech Rep. 0-1
Senior Women, Group B:
Senior Men, Group A:
Senior Men, Group B:
Czech Rep. 0-1
New Zealand 0-1
Senior Men, Group C:
Mixed Doubles, Group A:
Mixed Doubles, Group B:
Mixed Doubles, Group C:
Czech Rep. 1-0
Mixed Doubles, Group D:
New Zealand 0-1
Here is a look at the round robin schedules for the U.S. teams (all times local BST, +5 from ET):
Friday: USA men v. New Zealand, 7:30 a.m.; USA women v. Austria, 11 a.m.; USA men v. Russia & USA women v. New Zealand, 6 p.m.
Saturday: USA women v. Japan, 12 p.m.; USA men v. Finland, 3:30 p.m.
Sunday: USA women v. Sweden, 11 a.m.; USA men v. England, 9:30 p.m.
Monday: USA men v. Scotland, 12 p.m.; USA women v. Slovakia, 3:30 p.m.; USA men v. Czech Republic, 7 p.m.
Tuesday: USA women v. Czech Republic, 8:30 a.m.
Friday: USA v. Norway, 2:30 p.m.
Saturday: USA v. France, 8 a.m.; USA v. China, 5:45 p.m.*
Sunday: USA v. Ireland, 2:30 p.m.; USA v. New Zealand, 9 p.m.*
Monday: USA v. Spain, 5:45 p.m.
*feature game on the live WCF webstream
Event information links:
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For more information: Terry Kolesar, Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).