IT is less than a week since Ireland’s last international competition, but men’s skip John Wilson is back in action with his partner Alison Fyfe as Ireland take on the world in Dumfries to try and qualify for the 2024 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships. The team are once again supported by their coach, Eoin McCrossan.
The Dumfries Ice Bowl plays host once again to 26 teams from around the world who will battle it out for 4 spots to the worlds, hosted next year in Ostersund, Sweden. Ireland are in Group A alongside Germany, India, Kyrgyzstan, Lativa, Chinese Taipei and Ukraine. The round robin phase begins tomorrow evening and runs until Tuesday ahead of playoffs beginning on Wednesday. The top 2 teams in each group will proceed to a double knockout competition. If you can make it to two wins, before you succumb to two losses then you will book your ticket to the World Championships in Sweden.
Qualification this year is particularly important as it is the first step on the journey to the 2026 Winter Olympics. Alison Fyfe, then playing with her dad Neil, earned Ireland an Olympic point in the build up to the 2018 Winter Games, something she remembers fondly: “I remember beating Hungary, who were the current world champions at the time, it probably is still my curling highlight. The great thing about mixed double is it has given smaller countries a chance to dream of the Olympics. There’s a long way for us to go, but you never know when lightning can strike!”. For her partner John Wilson, it is the perfect chance to move on from his experience at the Europeans, “Although we stayed in B-Division in Perth, the week was below our expectations. I’m really excited to be back on the ice so soon especially playing Mixed Doubles. It’s such a fast, fun and exciting format – and I get to sweep!”
Ireland’s first game is tomorrow night at 8:30pm against Germany. You can keep track of the scores here: https://livescores.worldcurling.org/wmdqe/default, watch live streams through Curling Stadium Europe here: https://curlingstadiumeurope.com/home or of course, attend live and in person at the Dumfries Ice Bowl!