MURDOCH PREDICTS A STELLAR CURLING CHAMPIONSHIPS, AS GLASGOW PREPARES TO WELCOME THE WORLD
Another exciting year of sporting events in Glasgow will get underway in just 50 days-time when the world’s best will take to the ice at the iconic Emirates Arena for the LGT World Men's Curling Championship 2020. Excited by the prospect of a home championships, double world champion and Olympic silver medallist David Murdoch is confident Scotland will deliver a fabulous showcase for the sport.
The Championship is returning to Scotland, the home of curling, for the first time in 20 years, last held at Braehead in 2000. Scotland is the perfect stage for international sporting events and Glasgow has been officially recognised as one of the top five global sporting cities and was recently named as the European Capital of Sport 2023.
The World Curling Federation’s LGT World Men's Curling Championship which is being delivered by a partnership between Glasgow Life, UK Sport, EventScotland and Scottish Curling, will take place over nine days at the Emirates Arena from Saturday 28 March to Sunday 5 April 2020. It will be the first time the Emirates has hosted an ice event, demonstrating its versatility as a world class sports venue in the heart of the community. A temporary ice sheet will be laid in the centre of the Arena, ensuring spectators will be able to get close up to the action.
This popular Winter Olympic sport will feature the top 13 nations in the world: Canada, Denmark, Germany, South Korea, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Norway, China, Russia, USA as well as hosts Scotland, all battling it out for a place on the podium at the sport’s annual flagship event. The stakes are raised further for the five-man teams, with Olympic qualification points also up for grabs for the next Games in Beijing in 2022.
Scotland has a strong track record at the World Championships having won the title no less than five times and has amassed the third highest tally of 34 medals behind Canada and Sweden. Most recently Scotland’s Team Mouat won bronze at the 2018 edition.
The last Scottish men’s rink to win the World Championships was skipped to their second World title by David Murdoch in 2009. Now the British Curling National Coach and guiding the next generation, Murdoch who also won Olympic silver in 2014, is working as hard as ever to ensure the home crowd has a lot to cheer about.
Looking forward to the home World Championships David Murdoch said: “As a player you dream about representing your country at the World Championships and to have the event on home ice makes it even more special. I was lucky enough to win two World titles and three European titles but none of them were at home. In fact the last time Scotland won the World Championships on home soil was back in 1967 so a win is long overdue!
“However such a lot has changed in the sport in that time with the game expanding across the world and more than 64 countries involved in curling and all the top countries have full-time professional athletes. With Olympic qualification points on offer this year and next it is even more important to have a good Championships and the standard of competition will be formidable.
“Glasgow and Scotland have a great track record of delivering events and I think it will be spectacular to have the World Championships in the Emirates Arena that has seen so much international sporting action since the Commonwealth Games. As the home of curling I am also certain that the Scottish curling community will give a huge welcome to all the visiting fans as well as backing Scotland to the hilt at every game and I know how energising this will be for the team.
“Even if you are not a regular curling fan it will be a great spectacle and will give you a taste of just what an exciting sport it is to both watch and play.”
The rink to represent Scotland is still to be determined and will be the winners of the Scottish Championships which get underway on Monday at the Dewars Centre in Perth (10-15 February). Tickets for the Scottish Men’s and Women’s finals are available at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/scottish-curling-championship-finals-day-2020-tickets-84719936611
Looking ahead to the week-long crunch competition for the Scots, Murdoch added: “Our five British Curling men’s teams have been battling it out across the globe this season against the world’s elite and we now have three teams inside the top 20 in the World Curling Tour rankings. Our Scottish Championships will be fiercely competitive as we have great depth in Scotland and with the pride of representing your country at a home worlds on the line, we will be seeing some tremendous shot making in Perth.
“It will also be a fabulous opportunity to see the very best curlers in the world including reigning Olympic silver medallists, World and European Champions Sweden, led by Niklas Edin and the Canadians who are always amongst the contenders for the medals. The field will be strong across the board, as being halfway through the Olympic quadrennial all the teams will now have one eye on Beijing 2022 and be fine-tuning their games."
Cllr David McDonald, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council said: “Glasgow is looking forward to welcoming the world’s very best curlers when the action gets underway in the Emirates Arena in just 50 days-time. It is 20 years since the city hosted the World Men’s Curling Championship and we are excited that curling is coming home to Scotland once again, where our knowledgeable spectators and wonderful volunteers will be sure to give the teams and travelling fans a huge warm Scottish welcome.
“Glasgow is rightly proud of its reputation as one of the top five global sporting cities and it is fabulous to be hosting this prestigious event as part of our world class events portfolio for 2020.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “As the home of curling, Scotland is the perfect stage for international curling events. The World Men’s Curling Championships is the latest in a number of curling events the country has hosted in recent years including the European Championships 2016 at Braehead, the World Juniors in Aberdeen in 2018 and last year’s World Wheelchair Championships in Stirling.
“EventScotland is delighted to be supporting the World Championships and we look forward to welcoming the fans and athletes from all over the world back to Scotland in 50 days' time for what is sure to be an exciting tournament as the best men’s teams in the world battle it out for Championship glory at the Emirates Arena.”
Tickets for the event are selling well and with the draw for the competition just released last week, spectators can now home in on the sessions which include their must watch teams.
From the passionate curling fan committed to seeing every stone thrown, to those keen to experience the thrill of an Olympic sport live on their doorsteps for the very first time, there are a range of ticket options available starting at just £12 for adults and £3 for juniors for a single session. You might even see the next Olympic champions!
Please click here for more information about the draw and to book your seat now.
IPlease click here f you’d like to try curling for the first time.
Please click here for Scotland's playing schedule.