AUS Preparing for 2014 World Mixed Doubles Championships
This will be the 7th time a World Championship has been held, after it's introduction at the World level in 2008. The venue is the Dumfries Ice Bowl http://dumfriescurling.co.uk/ where both the Mixed Doubles and World Senior Men's & Women's Championships will be staged at the same time.
Australia's representative team is Laurie Weeden and Ian Palangio who qualified by winning the MD National Championships in late 2013.
In the preparation for the tournament off-ice training is extremely important with limited ice available in Australia, particularly during our Southern Hemisphere summer. Regular gym sessions, long hilly trail runs, dry sweeping, and analysing past MD games from Youtube (www.youtube.com/worldcurlingtv) provide opportunities for us to prepare both physically and mentally.
Laurie has just returned from a Curling Training Camp in Canada, and I'll be getting some time in Canada prior to the tournament en-route to the event.
The championships have the 34 Countries split into 4 pools where each team plays each other once in a round robin format - with the top 3 teams in pool qualifying for the playoffs. Australia is in the 8 team Blue pool, and will be up for a very challenging series of games. Included in the group is Switzerland who have won 4 of the past 6 World Championships. Also Czech Republic who won the Bronze medal last year, and Japan who I know are always strong and took the Silver medal in the 2011 New Zealand Winter Games.