Nov 30, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto, ON, Canada / Kingston, Jamaica – Curling Jamaica, recognized by the Jamaica Olympic Association and World Curling Federation as the sole governing body of the Winter Olympic sport of curling in Jamaica, is sending a mixed doubles team to Dumfries, Scotland for the World Mixed Doubles Qualification Event from Saturday, December 2nd to Thursday, December 7th, 2023.
This will be the first time that Jamaica will be represented in the discipline of Mixed Doubles Curling at a World Curling Federation sanctioned event.
The World Mixed Doubles Qualification Event involves 26 national teams and will be divided into four groups for round-robin play as follows:
The top two finishers from each group advance to a double-knockout playoff bracket, where the top four teams will advance to the World Mixed Doubles Championships on April 20th to April 27th, 2024 in Oestersund, Sweden.
Jamaica will be represented by the team of Ian Robertson and Madeleine Spurgeon, who won the right to represent Jamaica after winning Curling Jamaica’s Mixed Doubles playdown on March 11, 2023.
Ian Robertson, who is also the President of Curling Jamaica, will make his international debut for Jamaica as a player. Ian boasts a wealth of previous competitive curling experience, having grown up in Southern Ontario (Canada) and competing in 40+ Ontario Provincial Championships including the 1984 Canadian Junior Championship, during his 45+ years in the sport. He says it is “an honour to be representing Jamaica on the world stage at this world championship qualifying tournament. For me having been around the game and playing at a high level, all across Canada, for so many years allows me to bring all of my experience to help get the Jamaican program off of the ground and ultimately grow it from the grassroots level up."
Madeleine Spurgeon, who also resides in Southern Ontario, is an alumni of the University of Toronto’s varsity curling team. Madeleine was a member of the four-person women’s team that became the first ever Jamaican curling team to compete at the international level last month, when the women’s team won the B-Division silver medal at the Pan-Continental Championships in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada (October 29th – November 4th, 2023). She becomes the first player to represent Jamaica in two different disciplines in the sport of curling.
“My goal for the Mixed Doubles qualifier is to play well and build on Curling Jamaica’s success at the Pan-Continental Championships,” Madeleine said. “Preparing for both competitions so close together has been busy. It’s been tricky to find the time for practices with both teams as well as planning and organizing everything.”
To recap Jamaica’s debut at the Pan-Continental Championships one month earlier, the women’s team of Madeleine Spurgeon, Margot Shepherd-Spurgeon, Stephanie Chen and Cristiene Hall-Teravainen were placed in a B-Division group that included China, Brazil, Kenya, Hong Kong and the Philippines. Jamaica finished the round robin with a record of 4 wins and 1 loss, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 57-23 and qualifying for the tournament’s playoffs.
“It was a dream come true to play in an international competition,” Madeleine said. “For me, a memorable moment was realizing we had qualified for the playoffs. That was one of our team goals going into the competition, so it was exciting to realize that we had checked off one of our goals.”
The only team to defeat Jamaica in the group was China – an established and elite national team program that was placed in B-Division due to its absence from the tournament in 2022. Jamaica defeated Brazil in the semi-final by a score of 10-5, and captured the silver medals after losing the championship final to China by an 11-3 score.
Cristiene Hall-Teravainen, the Skip of the women’s team, on having qualified for the playoffs: “Most of my goals were surpassed. We were guaranteed a bronze medal, but I wanted more,” Cristiene said. “I needed to have the silver medal, because in this case, silver was just as good as gold.”
Cristiene said the team did not take anything for granted in the semi-final. “I knew it was going to be a tight game against Brazil. They are a good team. The game was very close, we needed to do something to break the game open,” she said, referring to the 5-5 tie going into the final two ends of the game, where Jamaica scored 5 points to win the game.
And there was nothing but praise from Cristiene despite the loss to China in the final. Referring to a critical 4th end where China scored 6 points, Cristiene said the score did not reflect how well Jamaica played. “It was a game of millimetres. We had to get around (China’s guard stone) to score. Stephanie and Madeleine made good throws, but their shots just rubbed the side of the guard,” she said. On the skip stone for China that secured the 6 points in that 4th end: “She (China skip Han Yu) threw a perfect shot around the guard to tap my stone out and score 6. That was sharp-shooting.”
Added Madeleine: “In the final against China, we knew they were a strong team. We learned a lot from that game and we’re hoping those lessons will make us a stronger team next year.”
Added Cristiene: “I’m extremely proud of what the team accomplished. We stepped on the ice as a team and did what we had to do. A lot of teams watched us, and knew that we would be hard to beat.”
Competitive players in the Curling Jamaica program will also focus on competitions at the Dundas Valley Golf & Curling Club in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada taking place in early 2024:
Jamaica Cup Mixed Doubles Cashspiel: January 20-21, 2024 (open invite)
Jamaica National Team Playdowns: February 24, 2024
International Friendly Matches: February 25, 2024 (invitation only)
About Curling Jamaica: Curling Jamaica currently operates in Ontario, Canada, with corporate registered head offices in Toronto, Ontario and Kingston, Jamaica. Players are based in Canada, Scotland and the United States. For more information about Curling Jamaica, visit our website (www.curlingjamaica.com).
For more information, please contact:
Ben Kong: email@example.com