Guyanese impress at World Curling Championship
Guyana’s National Mixed Doubles Team of Rayad Husain and Farzana Hussain finished their run at this year’s World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in 37th place, according to post by the Guyana Curling Federation on their official Facebook page Thursday.
The championships were staged in Stavanger, Norway, and was the largest ever event for the discipline with 48 teams competing, however, the result proved to be a disappointment after having claimed 24th place a year ago in Sweden.
The tournament started off promising with a 6:4 victory over the Netherlands in the opening session.
A close defeat to Austria on Day 2 started the run of 6 consecutive defeats. Having the lead playing the 8th end, the Austrians managed to score 2 to win 6:5.
Brazil was the next team to face Guyana in an all-South American matchup. A poor start for the Guyanese and an opposition who played lights out in the first two ends resulted in a 6-point deficit that could not be overcome, and resulted in a 3:11 defeat after 6 ends.
Later in the evening, the brother-sister tandem took on the Turkish team.
A miss by the Turks in the 2nd end allowed Guyana to score 3, and the game looked to be promising against one of the leading nations in Mixed Doubles.
However, two poor ends turned the tides, and although the Guyanese made it close towards the end, the game ended in defeat 5:9.
The following day was against newcomer nation to Mixed Doubles, Chinese Taipei, however, their male player, Brendon Liu, has appeared in 18 previous Pacific-Asia Curling Championships.
Once again, the game started well for the Guyanese with a 3:0 lead after 2 ends. Missed opportunities once again led to a downturn in fortune.
Going into the 8th end, the Guyanese had a one-point lead, but the Chinese Taipei opposition scored 3 on their power play, and won the game 8:6.
The final two matches of the competition were against the powerhouses of Mixed Doubles Curling — Switzerland, the defending champion, and Hungary, the two-time World Champions.
Against the Swiss, the first three ends were well played and contested. An opportunity for 3 points in the 1st end slipped past Guyana.
The middle of the game proved to be the undoing, and Guyana succumbed to a 2:7 loss.
Finally, against Hungary, the game was close after 4 ends with the Hungarians leading 4:3 after a missed chance by the Guyanese to score 4 resulted in only 2.
Taking a few risks in the back half led to a score of three on two occasions by Hungary, and the game ended 10:5 ending Guyana’s tournament with just the one victory.
The result comes as a massive disappointment for the Guyanese team who wished to improve upon their performance a year ago in Östersund where they debuted with three wins.
The final ranking also means that Guyana will have to play the Qualification Event from 30 November-7 December at a location to be determined.
Four nations will emerge from the qualifier, and will join the top 16 from this year’s event at the 2020 World Championships in Kelowna, BC, Canada.
The 2020 Worlds will act as the first step in the Olympic Qualification process towards Beijing 2022.
Commenting on the final result in Stavanger, Rayad Husain said: “We are of course massively disappointed with the final ranking as we hoped for a higher finish than last year.
However, the competition has improved a lot, and we had many chances that we did not capitalize on.”
With respect to the future for the team, Husain said: “There are a lot of positives to take from this championship, and we know we are capable of playing better. We will work hard over the summer, and focus our attention on the qualifier in December. Most of the teams are close, and the margins will be tight, but with hard work and perseverance we will try to qualify for Kelowna.”
The Guyana Curling Federation expressed gratitude to the World Curling Federation, and sponsor Rock Solid Productions Inc along with team coach, Jason Perreira, for helping the team through the week.