Team New Zealand announced for World Men's Curling Championship 2012

Team New Zealand. Photo: Chinese Curling Association

The New Zealand team to compete at the 2012 World Men’s Curling Championship has been announced. The NZ Curling Association has confirmed that Peter de Boer, Sean Becker, Scott Becker, Kenny Thomson and Phil Dowling, (photo L to R) with coach Peter Becker, will travel to Switzerland in March.

At last month's Pacific-Asia Championship in China the same side won the silver medal that qualified New Zealand for the World Championship for the first time since 2005.

Skip Peter de Boer is upbeat about the Kiwis' potential. "We really came onto our game towards the end of the China trip," he said. "We have plenty of experience and tactical nous and will have relatively little pressure on us compared to some of the funded nations."

"I know the team are excited about having a chance to gain some Olympic qualifying points, and to give ourselves at crack at 2014 in Sochi!"

On a personal note he added that he was delighted about finally having a chance to play on the World stage after narrowly missing out in the past – he had twice been in the runner-up team at the Scottish National Championship before moving to New Zealand. "I'm looking forward to taking on the best teams in the world and showing them that NZ Curling is on the rise. I'm particularly excited about putting one over Scotland, that should be a cracker!"

Coach Peter Becker also believes his side has the potential to perform well. "We don't want to get ahead of ourselves," he said, "but if the players do the work between now and then, they will be quietly confident that they can spring a few surprises in Basel. It is a team full of strategic and playing experience,and at the recent European Championships we saw that anybody can beat anybody on their day."

All but one of the 12 countries competing in Switzerland have now been confirmed following last week's European Curling Championships. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Scotland, Germany and France qualified from Europe. They will join China and New Zealand from Pacific-Asia, Switzerland as hosts and Canada from the Americas. The final team will be the winner of the USA vs. Brazil challenge scheduled for late January.

The 2012 Men's World Curling Championship will be held in Basel, Switzerland from 31 March to 8 April. Nations will earn Olympic qualifying points at the 2012 and 2013 World Championships, with 10 places available at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

New Zealand Curling Association Media Release

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