Teams Muirhead and Fleming Back To Competitive Action In Berne
European bronze medallists Team Muirhead get back into competitive action this week competing in the Bernese Ladies Cup in Switzerland (12-15 January 2017).
The globe-trotting Scottish champions finished last year with a third place finish in the Karuizawa International, having previously reached the finals of the HDF Insurance Shoot Out and the Colonial Square Ladies Classic in Canada, as well as claiming the Women’s Masters title in Basel.
The Olympic bronze medallists will now be looking to consolidate the form which also saw them beat the entire field during the qualifying stages of the European Championships as they build towards the Scottish Championships next month where they will hope to earn qualification for the Worlds.
After watching brother Glen Muirhead, part of Team Brewster win the Curling Champions Tour (CCT) Perth Masters last weekend, skip Eve is keen to get back on the ice with her team and start contesting titles.
“During the festive period we've had some great family time, rest and recovery but now we're ready and itching for competition again,” she said.
“Between Christmas and New Year we had some well planned ice sessions at Braehead with constant communication back and forth from our ice support team, Glenn (Howard) and Tony (Zummack). These few days were very beneficial leading into our first competition of the year- Berne.
“The field this coming weekend is once again strong. All the games will be tough but we enjoy the challenge. It's getting towards the business part of the season and we've planned our training and competition very carefully to make sure there are no stones left unturned.”
Team Fleming who also finished last year reaching the podium as finalists at the Qinghai China International which followed two other results this season that saw them just miss out on titles at the Red Deer Classic and Stockholm Ladies Cup, are keen to resume their curling duties in Switzerland tomorrow.
“We enjoyed a few days down time at home with friends and family over Christmas, but since then we have been training hard for the next crucial stage of the season. We start our 2017 competitive cycle at the Bern Ladies and we expect it to be a well contested event and we know we will have some tough games ahead of us, “ said skip Hannah Fleming.
“Having had a few weeks off competition it has given us a chance to work on some key areas and so we feel confident going forward into this event. The ice sessions at Braehead between Christmas and New Year were invaluable to us and allowed us to get a good batch of team training under our belts to round off 2016 and focus on the end of our season.”
Team Fleming Coach Nancy Smith added: “After the successful event in China prior to Christmas, Team Fleming’s intentions to find the small margins to compete with the best in the world continue at what will be a professionally run event in Berne.
“They look forward to returning to competition mode after a small well-earned break and a good block of team training at Braehead.”
Team Hazel Smith will also be part of the Scottish challenge in Bern while, elsewhere, Scottish Mixed Doubles Champions Gina Aitken and Bruce Mouat – who were named earlier this week in the team heading to the 2017 World Universiade in Kazakhstan at the end of this month – have their first competitive doubles outing of 2017 at the CCT Dutch Masters (13-15 January 2017).
For more information and results from the Bernese Ladies Cup please click here.
For more information about the CCT Dutch Masters Mixed Doubles please click here.
Eve Muirhead/Hannah Fleming Photo: Perthshire Picture Agency, Graeme Hart.