Beijing to host 2014 world men's curling championships

Beijing to host 2014 world men's curling championships
By Sportsbeat

16/01/2013 at 23:33Updated 16/01/2013 at 23:43

Asia will host the World Men's Curling Championships for the first time in 2014 after Beijing was named as the host city.

The Chinese capital, which hosted the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2008, was announced as the chosen city by the World Curling Federation at its headquarters in Scotland.

The Championships will be held from March 29 to April 6 in Beijing and will come six years after China first competed in the men's event in 2008.

It marks the first time in the history of the World Men's Championships, which began in 1959 in Scotland, that an Asian nation will act as hosts of the event.

Japan held the World Women's Championships in 2007 and South Korea in 2009 and WCF president Kate Caithness is well aware of the importance of hosting the men's event in Asia.

"The award of the 2014 World Men's Championship to Beijing is a major landmark in the development of curling," said Caithness.

"It will be the first time that a World Men's Curling Championship will be staged in the Pacific-Asia zone.

In the last decade we have witnessed a surge in growth of curling in the region.

"Following on from the World Women's Curling Championships in Japan in 2007 and Korea in 2009, China will now host the top twelve men's teams in the world and we look forward to working with our partners and sponsors to stage a first class show for the world to enjoy."

The Chinese Curling Association, only founded in 2001, became a member of the WCF in 2002 and currently there are over 330 registered players in China and four dedicated centres with ice facilities.

In the five years they have competed in the Men's Championships, China's best finish has been fourth back in 2008 while last year they ranked sixth.

And Ni Huizhong, president of the Chinese Curling Association, said: "The Chinese Curling Association would like to thank the World Curling Federation for putting their trust in us and our partners to host the 2014 World Men's Curling Championship.

"Curling is a sport that is growing incredibly fast not only throughout China but also throughout the rest of the Pacific-Asia region.

"We hope that this event, being staged just after the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, will help continue to inspire the next generation of curlers throughout the world.

"We would like to invite everyone to China in 2014 and the city of Beijing to be part of this incredible experience."