Olympic medalist Tom Brewster is optimistic about Scotland’s hopes at the World Mixed Curling Championships.
The 40-team event was set to get under way today at Curl Aberdeen, with Scotland represented by Luke Carson’s rink.
Alongside Carson are Kirstin Bousie, Mark Taylor and Katie McMillan. The Scots are in Group D alongside Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Chinese Taipei and Turkey.
The Scots were today set to meet Italy and Japan, with Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic silver medalist – and Curl Aberdeen manager – Brewster believing the host nation can perform well.
The 45-year-old said: “They’re a young team, but there are a lot of other young teams here.
“From what I’ve seen I think they’ll do well. To win the Scottish Mixed Championship is never easy.
“They must have played well to win that. I’ve seen them curl individually, but not as a team.
“It depends on how they embrace the event as a team. They’ll come up against some teams on paper they should beat.
“But some countries will make it tough for them and in the knock-out stages it will be tough.
“If they have the right week they could do really well and even be playing next Saturday. It’s a great experience for them and almost a bit of a proving ground in terms of playing for Scotland.”
Unlike the World Men’s and Ladies’ Championships which only the top-ranked nations qualify for, the Mixed Championships are open to curling’s emerging nations such as Kosovo, Hong Kong, Andorra and Kazakhstan.
Brewster believes that is a good thing and is delighted to be welcoming them to Aberdeen.
He added: “It’s an honour to be awarded the event – to host any World Championships is a big deal.
“We’ve got a fantastic facility and it lends itself to this type of event.
“For us it’s great to be acknowledged that we have a good venue which is suitable for this.
“We’re really pleased and it’s a different type of event to what we’ve hosted in the past.
“It’s an open championship so it’s open to all members of the World Curling Federation (WCF).
“With the World Men’s and World Ladies’ Championships they are only open at the very early stages of the tournament.
“A lot of the countries we’ll see this week can only dream of being in the top 10 in the world.
“So it allows all the smaller and emerging nations the opportunity to participate in a World Championship which is great.
“It gives a buzz to the whole event and it’s a very social event.
“There’s no Olympic qualification in this category, so the spirit of curling is there.
“For a lot of the countries it’s just about participating, being around the other curlers and socialising together.
“The true value of the sport and where it came from is there.”