Monday, June 17, 2024

Canadian curling team faces a challenge — from Mexico

Mexico will challenge Canada and Brazil for a spot at the 2022 world men’s curling championship, to be held in Las Vegas next April.

There are just two spots available for Americas region countries and the United States was automatically allocated one as it is hosting the event.

The Mexican, Canadian and Brazilian teams will play off for the second spot in an Americas Zone Challenge, to be held at the Lacombe Curling Club in Alberta from October 29-31.

It will be just the second time that Canada has faced a challenge for a spot at a world championship. The first time was in 2018 when the championship was also held in Las Vegas. Canada prevailed over Brazil on that occasion and went on to take second place in Nevada.

Mexico has never competed at a world curling championship. Hoping to change that is the Mexican team of Jesús Barajas, Christopher Barajas, Ramy Cohen and Alex Sánchez, who will take to take to the ice in Canada later this month.

Canadian skip Brendan Bottcher said his team is taking the threat from both Mexico and Brazil seriously.

“Obviously, this is an important event for Canada, and we take that opportunity to wear the Maple Leaf very seriously, so we are already preparing for this event,” he said in a statement Wednesday.

“We have nothing but respect for any team that steps onto the ice to represent their country, and I know Mexico and Brazil will be bringing their best to Lacombe, so we will have to be ready.”

Curling is a little known sport in Mexico but there has been a national curling federation since 2014. Canadian curler Kaitlyn Lawes, who won gold at the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics, traveled to Mexico in 2017 to help the federation promote the sport. During her visit, she gave a curling exhibition at the Ice Dome, a winter sports center on Mexico City’s south side.

With reports from CBC

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