Ford World Women's Curling Championship Begins Saturday

World #1 Ranked Jennifer Jones (photo by Anil Mungal) will represent Canada at the Ford Worlds in North Bay.

North Bay, Canada -- The international curling spotlight returns to Canada on Saturday 17 March, when the Ford World Women's Curling Championship 2018 gets underway in North Bay's Memorial Gardens in Northern Ontario.

The only previous World Women's Curling Championship in Ontario was in Hamilton, in 1996.

This is the first women's championships to take place after the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and both the Olympic gold medallists from Sweden, skipped by Anna Hasselborg and the silver medallists from Korea, skipped by EunJung Kim, are in the field.

This will also be the first world championships at which the field has been extended to 13 teams. They represent: hosts and defending champions Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and United States.

In another first, the top six teams will qualify for the play-off stage - rather than four as was the case previously - after the round-robin is completed. The teams ranked first and second qualify directly for the semi-final games, while the third-ranked team will play the sixth-ranked team in a qualification game and the fourth-ranked team and fifth-ranked team will face each other in another qualification game.

In the semi-finals, the first-ranked team will play the lowest-ranked qualifier and the second-ranked team will play the other. Semi-final winners will then play for the world title and gold and silver medals, with the losers playing for bronze medals.

Following the opening ceremony on Saturday 17 March the teams battle it out in 20 sessions of round-robin play, until the evening of Friday 23 March. After this, the qualification games and semi-finals will take place on Saturday 24 March and the medal games will be on Sunday 25 March.

Some details of the teams taking part are:

Canada: skipped by Jennifer Jones, 2014 Olympic and 2008 World Women's champions
China: skipped by Yilun Jiang, newcomers to the Worlds
Czech Republic: skipped by Anna Kubeskova, seventh in 2017 Worlds
Denmark: skipped by Angelina Jensen, who last appeared in 2010 Worlds
Germany: skipped by Daniella Jentsch, ninth in 2017 Worlds
Italy: skipped by Diana Gaspari, bronze medallist in 2017 Le Gruyère AOP Europeans
Japan: skipped by Tori Koana, newcomers to Worlds
Korea: skipped by EunJung Kim, 2018 Olympic silver medallists
Russia: skipped by Victoria Moiseeva, newcomers to Worlds
Scotland: skipped by Hannah Fleming, newcomers to Worlds
Sweden: skipped by Anna Hasselborg, 2018 Olympic champions
Switzerland: skipped by Binia Feltscher, 2014 and 2016 World Women's champions
United States: skipped by Jamie Sinclair, newcomers to Worlds

Curling fans around the world will be able to watch live coverage of these championships via the World Curling Federation's broadcast partners TSN and RDS (Canada), NBCSports (United States), NHK (Japan), CCTV (China), SBS (Korea), Eurosport (Europe), SRG (Switzerland), TVP Sport (Poland), Match TV (Russia), La Chaine Equipe (France) and the Olympic Channel. Coverage will also be available, subject to geo-blocking restrictions, on the event website and the World Curling Federation's YouTube Channel:

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