Quarterfinal exit at World Junior B Champs

Eleanor Adviento, NZL v EST
NZ skip Eleanor Adviento in their quarter-final v Estonia. Photo © WCF / Juha Pääjärvi & Janne Ojanperä

11 Jan 2016 – New Zealand Women finished their World Junior B Championship campaign tied for fifth of the 21 teams following their 5-4 loss to Estonia in the quarter-finals.

They completed their tournament in Lohja, Finland with a 4-3 win-loss record.

Their other two losses were also by a single point – to Russia and Japan, the eventual gold and silver medallists.

Hungary won the bronze, and the three medallists earned themselves entry to March's World Junior Curling Championship.

The Kiwi Men's tournament ended after the pool round. Their 2 win - 5 loss record saw them finish 6th in their pool and 16th of 24 overall. They conceded big starts in their first three games but improved throughout, and were much more competitive in the remainder of their matches.

Russia, Denmark and Korea took the Men's medals and with them the final three Men's places at the WJCC.

This was the first World Junior B Championship for 12 years; from 2005 to 2015 New Zealand competed in the regional and now-defunct Pacific-Asia Junior Championship.

Those Kiwi players who remain eligible for next year will be confident that they can compete on the world stage, and can have a realistic goal of qualifying for the main World Junior event. This was always a big ask at PAJCC, where only the winner would go through.


NZ Juniors head to Finland

29 Dec 2015 – The 2016 curling year is off to an early start for the New Zealand Under-21 teams. The players and supporters have headed to Finland for the World Junior B Curling Championships which get under way on 3 January.

The top three Men's and Women's sides will qualify for March's World Junior Championships in Turkey. This is the first World Junior B event since 2004. From 2005 until last year NZ attempted qualification via the annual Pacific-Asia Junior Championship, but January 2015's PAJCC in Naseby was the final edition of that tournament.

The Finnish Curling Channel will provide live webcasts from sheet C throughout the round robin. New Zealand games on Sheet C are

  •  Men v Latvia  5:45 pm, Mon 4 January   (4:45 am, Tue 5th NZDT)
  •  Women v Japan   9:00 pm, Tue 5 January   (8:00 am, Wed 6th NZDT)
  •  Men v Japan  5:45 pm, Thu 7 January   (4:45 am, Fri 8th NZDT)

The Men's side of Simon Neilson, Matthew Neilson, Ben Smith, Hamish Walker and Josh Whyte will play pool games against Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

The NZ Women – Eleanor Adviento, Jessica Smith, Waverley Taylor, Holly Thompson and Emma Sutherland – will meet Spain, Japan, Latvia, Norway, Romania and Russia. Both competitions have three pools, with the top three from each pool progressing to the playoff rounds.

A comparison of the 2016 World Junior B Championship with the 2004 event shows the worldwide growth in curling over the last decade. In 2004, 13 Men's and 9 Women's teams competed. In 2016, the teams number 24 and 21 respectively.