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Page last updated at 11:27 GMT, Thursday, 19 February 2009

Scots curlers hope for world joy

By Elizabeth Hudson

Scotland skip Michael McCreadie
Michael McCreadie will play a key role for the Scotland team

Scotland's wheelchair curling team will be bidding to make amends for a poor display last year when they take part in this week's World Championships.

Michael McCreadie, Aileen Neilson, Tom Killen, Jim Sellar and Rosemary Lenton finished seventh 12 months ago.

But they will hope for better fortunes in this year's competition which begins in Vancouver on Saturday.

The competition, at the city's Olympic Centre, is an official test event for next March's Winter Paralympics.

The five curlers who have travelled to Canada, plus fellow Scot Angie Malone, who missed out on this event through illness, are vying for selection for the 2010 Games.

The team, which will represent Great Britain in Canada in 12 months time, will be announced in May.

Wheelchair curling differs slightly from the able-bodied game in that there is no sweeping allowed.

Scotland and Great Britain coach Tom Pendreigh is hoping to learn from the experience of preparing and competing at a Games venue over the next week.

"The World Championships is always a special event but having it in Vancouver a year away from a Paralympics makes it even more so," he told BBC Sport.

"It is great preparation for us as we look ahead to 2010. The team have been spending time at a holding camp in Richmond, south Vancouver, before the competition in order to simulate what we will be doing next year."

The Scots, who were world champions in 2004 and 2005, start their campaign on Saturday against Canada, who beat them to Paralympic gold in Turin in 2006.

They follow that up with games against the USA, Norway, Sweden, Korea, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and China before the play-offs start on Friday.

Pendreigh added: "We couldn't have asked for a tougher start to the tournament with Canada, the USA, who are an up-and-coming team, defending champions Norway, and a strong Korean team in four of our first five matches.

"It is vital for us to make a strong start and get some early wins to boost our confidence and set us up for the rest of the tournament.

"Last year's World Championships was a disappointing end to a good season although we had some illness and injuries to contend with. It was our poorest showing at a Worlds and we want to put that right."

see also
Scots curlers miss out on semis
07 Feb 08 |  Disability Sport
Scotland take bronze in curling
24 Feb 07 |  Disability Sport
A-Z of Paralympic classification
28 Aug 08 |  Disability Sport
Disability Sport on the BBC
18 Feb 09 |  Disability Sport

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