World Championships are on ice for Perse curler

Lina Opel with dad Michael after winning the English mixed doubles curling title

Lina Opel (Year 8) will have the chance to play top international opposition after qualifying for the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships.

She will be joined by her dad Michael in representing England at the tournament in South Korea in April after they were recently crowned national mixed doubles champions.

They won all seven matches at the English Championships, held in Dumfries, Scotland, to take the title having coming third last year.

Lina said: “We hadn’t played most of the teams, but there was one team we’d lost to before in a different competition.

“We had some really tough games, but we managed to pull through and it was great to win it.”

Lina and her father train once a week at Cambridge Ice Arena, but also travel to Preston to practise during school holidays and on some weekends.

She is relishing the prospect of heading to Gangneung for the World Championships, where she is likely to be the youngest player in the competition.

A gruelling schedule of nine group games in six days awaits the pair, with a tough pool containing Winter Olympic respective silver and bronze medallists Norway and Sweden, plus Switzerland and the USA, who also competed at the 2022 Games in Beijing.

Spain, Japan, Turkey, Germany and Austria complete the group, with teams then going into classification matches to decide overall placings.

Lina said: “I’m a bit nervous because many teams are going to be way more experienced, but I’m mainly going for the experience and it should be a lot of fun.

“It’s especially good to be playing with my dad, and even if we lose, it will be nice to go there and play teams who have competed at the Winter Olympics.

“I’m hoping there are a few teams that are less formidable, as it would be nice to get a win against one of them.”


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