Leading Scots rinks will head for Norway after missing out on world championships

Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 11:28 pm

Eve Muirhead, second left, is eyeing European glory with her rink in Norway this November. Picture: Graeme Hart/Perthshire Picture Agency

Scotland’s top-ranked curlers Team Mouat and Team Muirhead, who missed out on the chance to compete at their respective world championships, have been selected to represent their country at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships in Norway in November.

The World Curling Federation (WCF) event will take place from 21-28 November in Lillehammer’s Olympic Park where teams will aim to earn a place at next year’s world championships at which national teams will be competing for qualification points for representation at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

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In responding to the unique difficulties faced this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, 
British and Scottish Curling have taken the decision to send their current top-ranked teams, both reigning national champions, as a result of their most recent performances and in recognition of the 
challenges to be confronted this season.

Team Mouat, from left, Bobby Lammie, Bruce Mouat, Hammy McMillan and Grant Hardie.
Picture: Graeme Hart/Perthshire Picture Agency

With the European Championships scheduled for their usual slot, relatively early in the season, it is not yet clear what sort of opportunities will be available in terms of competitive preparation, but allowing two former European champion teams to focus fully on readying themselves will give Scotland their best chance of success.

Two-time European champion Eve Muirhead, who reached her seventh Euro final last year, is looking forward to the prospect of pulling on the Scotland shirt again after missing out on that chance when her rink had to return from the cancelled world women’s championships in Canada 
earlier this year.

“It is always exciting to get the chance to represent our country and to be selected for the Europeans does show that we are at the top of our game,” said Muirhead.

“Pre-worlds I felt the team was in the best place it had ever been and it was a pity we were not able to demonstrate the form we had been building towards that event.

“It was completely the right decision to cancel the worlds and now we want to put all that hard work into practice and show everyone what we are capable of.”

Team Mouat are also looking to get on with “unfinished business” after missing out on a home worlds which were due to take place in Glasgow in March. However, skip Bruce Mouat is not interested in dwelling on that disappointment or on past performances. 
“We may well start the season as the top-ranked Scottish men’s team, but we have no intention of letting that cushion become complacency,” said Mouat.

“We know how quickly we climbed the rankings and there are others capable of doing that too and we need to ensure we stay at the top of our game.”

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