The curling teams are in the starting blocks for this, the penultimate stopover on the way to Beijing 2022. World Curling's first-ever Pre-Olympic Qualification Event 2021, which is taking place in Erzurum, Turkey from 5–15 October, will feature 16 mixed doubles teams, ten women’s teams and 17 men’s teams competing for the last remaining places in December’s Olympic Qualification Tournament (OQT), in the Netherlands.
It is from the December tournament that the final three men’s teams, three women’s teams, and two mixed teams will join those already qualified for Beijing 2022, which begins 4 February.
Who has already qualified for Beijing 2022?
Six men’s teams and six women’s have already qualified via the 2021 World Curling Championships in Calgary, Canada in March and April 2021. Surprisingly, this does not include Great Britain’s women’s team, the gold medal winners in Salt Lake City in 2002 and bronze medallists at Sochi 2014.
Seven mixed teams have also qualified via the mixed doubles tournament in Aberdeen, Scotland in May 2021.
The People’s Republic of China, as hosts, receive an automatic qualification spot in all three disciplines in Beijing.
- Women’s qualifiers – Switzerland, ROC, United States, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, People’s Republic of China
- Men’s qualifiers – Sweden, Great Britain, Switzerland, ROC, Canada, United States, People’s Republic of China
- Mixed qualifiers – Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic, People’s Republic of China
Who has already qualified for the final Beijing 2022 qualifying tournament in the Netherlands?
The men's teams who have already qualified for December's last chance saloon tournament, via their finishing positions at the 2021 World Championships, are: Italy, Norway, Japan, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands and Republic of Korea.
The qualified women's teams are Republic of Korea, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Czech Republic, Italy, Estonia and Netherlands.
The mixed event will feature the United States, Germany, ROC, New Zealand, Australia, Hungary, Japan, Finland, Republic of Korea, Estonia, Spain and Netherlands.
The top three teams from each gender at this week’s event in Turkey, will also book their places to the last-chance qualifying event in the Netherlands.
Who is competing in Turkey?
Three events will be contested in Erzurum, which has already played host to the 2011 Winter Universiade and the 2017 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival – the mixed doubles, the women’s and men’s events.
Teams to look out for include Belgium, who are hoping to cross a new frontier by qualifying to compete in curling at the Winter Games for the first time. In mixed doubles, Belgium will send its usual team of Veerle Geerinckx, the mayor of Zemst, and Dirk Heylen, player and trainer to Zemst.
Nigeria’s mixed and men’s teams, who manage to train despite not having access to ice, are looking to qualify as are the experienced Finnish pair of Kalle Kiiskinen and Teemu Salo who were part of the team that won silver at the Torino Winter Olympic Games back in 2006.
On the women’s side, watch out for Slovenia and Austria, two nations that won silver and bronze respectively at the C Division European Championship in September.
Groups in Erzurum
Mixed doubles (16 teams)
Group A: Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovakia
Group B: Brazil, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Slovenia, Turkey
Group C: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Mexico, Chinese Taipei
Men (17 teams)
Group A: Brazil, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Chinese Taipei, Turkey
Group B: Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Nigeria, Slovenia
Group C: Belgium, Spain, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia
Women (10 teams)
Group A: Spain, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Slovenia
Group B: Austria, Brazil, Norway, Slovakia, Turkey
Find the full schedule here.
Find all the results of the meetings on this page.
When is the curling competition at Beijing 2022?
The Winter Olympics competition, which takes place from 4-20 February, comprises three disciplines – the men’s, women’s and mixed tournaments.
There will be ten nations in each event at Beijing 2022 with the sport kicking off ahead of the opening ceremony on 2 February. The mixed doubles final will be held on 8 February, the men's bronze match on 18 February, the men's final and the women's bronze match on 19 February, and the women's final on 20 February. Find the full schedule here.