MIXED DOUBLES NATIONAL CHAMPS HEAD FOR NEW EVENT IN LODZ
British Curling’s Mixed Doubles Teams are back in action again this weekend at a brand new Tour event in Poland, the Atlas Mixed Doubles in Lodz, demonstrating the growing appeal of the new Olympic curling discipline.
Scottish national champions Jayne Stirling and Fraser Kingan, claimed silver at their first event of the year at the Audi Quattro Winter Games in New Zealand and reached the quarter final in Kitzbuehel and most recently won the Consolation Cup at their last competitive outing in Bern. They are looking forward to building on their progress this season as they prepare for a defence of their title at the Scottish Mixed Doubles Championships, hosted at Braehead next month.
“We learned a lot from our previous trips to Sochi and Bern, and will be using this event as an opportunity to fine tune our processes ahead of Scottish Championships next month.”
Also competing in the event are English national champions, brother and sister pairing Anna and Ben Fowler, who were the first English athletes to join the British Curling programme at the start of this season.
Team Fowler feel they have continued to make great strides in their game since joining the programme and training at the National Curling Academy in Stirling. Lke their Scottish counterparts, they reached the quarter finals in Kitzbuehel, which was their first event of the season. They followed that with a bronze medal finish at the International Mixed Doubles in Sochi. Anna Fowler said: "The season is now well under way and we're gearing up for our fourth event in Lodz, Poland. It's a new event on the tour and a new location for both of us, so it's exciting to have the opportunity to compete in this one.
“We've got into an intensive routine with on-ice training, gym sessions, strategic work and tour events, and we are definitely starting to see the results. We’ll be looking to take this experience and hard work into the competition in Lodz and more importantly into the English Championships, which is our main focus for the season. That event is held in Dumfries in January 2019.”
British Curling’s Mixed Doubles Coach Nancy Smith said: “The squad have all made great progress since joining the programme in September, with one of more teams reaching the knock out stages of every event so far or reaching the podium, so it has been very satisfying to date. The event this weekend also shows how Mixed Doubles is going from strength to strength since it was incorporated into the Olympic programme for the first time this year and it will help with the final preparations, as the squad gears up for respective national championships next month and January.”
Four times Scottish champion Gina Aitken and Olympic silver medallist Scott Andrews – who switched to the new discipline at the start of this season – have enjoyed much success since pairing up in September. They reached the quarter finals in their first tournament together in Oberstdorf, reached the final in Kitzbuehel, won the International Mixed Doubles title in Sochi and made the podium again at their last tournament in Bern. when they finished third. After which, Andrews sustained an injury and the duo have consequently chosen not to compete this weekend, in order to rest and recover for the Scottish Mixed Doubles next month.
Please click here for more information on the event (29 November – 2 December)
Pics: WCF / Richard Gray.