CALGARY — A capsule look at the 14 countries competing in the April 2-11 BKT Tires and OK Tires Men's World Curling Championship in Calgary (skips listed with each country). Teams listed in alphabetical order in their pools:
CANADA (Brendan Bottcher)
Light on international experience, Canada's representatives beat a field of world heavyweights at the Tim Hortons Brier to wear the Maple Leaf in Calgary. Bottcher and teammates make their world championship debut on home ice.
CHINA (Zou Quiang)
China has a berth in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing as the host country. Zou went 2-10 at the 2019 world championship in Lethbridge, Alta., but placed fifth in Edmonton in 2017.
DENMARK (Mads Noergaard)
Noergaard makes his world championship debut throwing second stones with third Mikkel Krause tossing last stones. Denmark's last appearance at a men's world championship was in 2016.
GERMANY (Sixten Totzek)
Totzek, 21, and second Joshua Sutor were fourth in the 2020 world junior men's championship. Totzek's vice Marc Muskatewitz skipped Germany to a 4-8 record in Lethbridge.
Italy (Joel Retornaz)
Two-time Olympian Retornaz skips Italy for a seventh time at the world championship. His best record was 7-5 in Lethbridge.
JAPAN (Matsumura Yuta)
Matsumura went 9-3 and finished fourth in Lethbridge. Japan held a championship in February, so the team arrives in Calgary with game reps.
SOUTH KOREA (Jeong Yeong-seok)
Jeong and company are world championship rookies. The Korean Curling Federation is emerging from turmoil as the former vice-president and other officials received lifetime bans late last year for their treatment of the women's team that won Olympic silver in 2018.
NETHERLANDS (Jaap van Dorp)
Making his fourth straight appearance at the world championship, Van Dorp throws third stones and Wouter Goesgens fourth rocks. Van Dorp went 4-8 in both 2019 and 2018.
NORWAY (Steffan Walstad)
Walstad loaded up at third this season by recruiting Torger Nergaard. The latter was Thomas Ulsrud's vice when they won Olympic gold in 2002 and silver in 2010, as well as a world title in 2014.
RUSSIA (Sergey Glukhov)
Glukov's official team name is Russian Curling Federation Team because of World Anti-Doping Agency sanctions against Russia. Glukhov went 4-8 two years ago in 2019.
SCOTLAND (Bruce Mouat)
Mouat, 26, skipped the Scots to bronze in his men's world debut in Las Vegas in 2018. Lead Hammy McMillan Jr., is the son of his namesake, who won the 1999 world curling title in Saint John, N.B.
SWEDEN (Niklas Edin)
Edin and company are the reigning world champions, having beaten Canada's Kevin Koe in Lethbridge for the title. Edin teams have finished on the podium every time he's played a world championship in Canada, including gold in 2015 in Halifax and 2013 in Victoria.
SWITZERLAND (Peter de Cruz)
Bronze is de Cruz's colour so far. His teams were third in the 2014, 2017 and 2019 world championship and third in the 2018 Winter Olympics. The skip throws second stones and vice Benoit Schwarz last rocks.
UNITED STATES (John Shuster)
The reigning Olympic champions went 8-4 in Lethbridge for fifth place. Shuster has yet to reach a world championship final in nine previous appearances. He won bronze in 2016.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 31, 2021.
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press