Curlers' Olympic dream alive
25 November 2007
Australia has had to settle for a silver medal at the Pacific Curling Championships, going down in the final to host nation China by 2 points to 9.
But the team of Hugh Millikin, Ian Palangio, Sean Hall and Stephen Johns leaves Beijing with a guaranteed place in the 2008 World Championships next April by virtue of making it to the last two. And a strong performance at those world titles could deliver the team a place in the field for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Despite missing out on the Pacific Champions crown, the Australians would be well pleased with their performance at the regional qualifying event.
After losing early round robin matches to China and Japan, they bounced back to defeat arch-rival New Zealand in their final preliminary round, then secured the vital place in the final with another victory over the Kiwis in the semi-final.
The challenge now facing the Australians is to gain enough points at the 2008 World titles to qualify for one of the ten places available in the Olympic field for the 2010 Games curling event in Vancouver.