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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Aileen’s disappointment at World Wheelchair finish

SCOTLAND wheelchair curling skip Aileen Neilson admits her team “didn’t make the big shots when it mattered” as they equalled their worst-ever finish at the World Championships.

The Strathaven star is the only female player ever to captain their country at such a prestigious event, but Aileen oversaw a disappointing championships for the Scots as they finished eighth out of the 10 teams taking part.

Russia were the eventual winners with a thumping 9-1 win over hosts South Korea in Sunday’s final.
But the tournament marked one of Scotland’s worst-ever finishes at a World Championships.
Since its inception in 2002, the squad have won medals every year except 2007 (when they finish seventh) and 2008 (when they finished eighth).

And Aileen – who skipped Scotland to world silver at last year’s event in the Czech Republic – says the arrival of new coach Tony Zummack saw the Scots try some different tactics to previous years.

But she insisted their six defeats from nine round-robin matches were down to the squad’s lack of killer instinct.

Aileen told the News: “Obviously, the whole team are disappointed with the result because we didn’t play the way we would have liked.

“One of the reasons for this is we’ve got a new coach and he has been trying some different tactics with us which, although they didn’t work last week, will make us better curlers in the long run.

“You can’t make lots of changes and expect everything to click overnight, but the fact we beat Russia in the round robin, shows what we are capable of when everything comes together.

“For us it will be about finding consistency and that will come.

“But, ultimately, when it came down to it, we didn’t make the big shots when it mattered.”
Scotland opened their campaign last Sunday with a 6-5 defeat at the hands of China, but Aileen’s team responded with an 8-6 win over Norway in the afternoon.

Monday saw the Scots come out fighting as they thumped eventual winners Russia 4-1, but that was quickly forgotten as they slumped to an 8-2 loss to Canada.

And the defeats kept on coming as a 6-4 loss to USA, a 9-2 humbling by Korea, a narrow 5-4 defeat to Slovakia and a final day 8-4 beating by Sweden sandwiched their only other win of the campaign, a 10-0 triumph over Italy.

Despite the disappointment of South Korea, Aileen still enjoyed her time in the country and is looking forward to working on next year’s competition in Sochi, Russia, where the 2014 Winter Paralympics will be held.

Aileen added: “South Korea were fantastic hosts. We had great transport and they made all the facilities very accessible for us.

“The food was a bit different, but we still managed to try some things and enjoy ourselves.

“It’s Russia next year for the World Championships so for now we go back and have a look at the videos and see what we did well and what we didn’t do so well, so we can build on this year’s experience and develop our tactical awareness over the coming months.”


Anonymous said...

Anyone asked Sonja how she enjoyed the Worlds?

Anonymous said...

Time to pack it up guys. That Team Canada delivery is not working for you and obviously it didn't work for Team Canada once they lost their "ringer",------ ----- ----- Good for Korea for not letting him into the country. Do watch the world videos and you'll note that the other teams are light years ahead of you. Either get with the program or it's time to ship out. Hopefully Team Canada coaches will realize the error of their ways and move away from the selection format for teams. Time to start respecting the winner of the Canadian National Championships.

Wheelchair Blog 2 said...

I am going to post this once again, Jim was in Korea prior to the worlds and as released and stated by the CCA " Jim, had to leave Korea for personal reasons"

I am sure once Jim or the CCA is ready or move over willing to state the actual why that will be posted on here. Trust me I am working on that.

Anonymous said...

Any comment from any of Team Canada regarding the unfortunate result?

Of course, any other year there is all kinds of comments.......I am sure everyone is very interested in what happened and where the Program goes in the future.

Anonymous said...

I don't think their lack of success had to do with deliveries, if you mean throwing the rock. It certainly leaves some questions regarding the depth of the entire Program, and the delivery of talent.

One guy is unavailable, and we go from first to virtually last?

How does that work?

What happens to all the funding that relies on success?

Haircut for coaching salaries?

Anonymous said...

It is time for Team Canada to tell us what went wrong, and how will it be dealt with.

If Jim retired would the Program retire with him?

Anonymous said...

It does seem strange that usually there are comments from Team Canada players and coaches after a World Championship.


Curling Guy said...

It seems to me that any team that lost their skip just before the competition and then the third goes down part way through would struggle. If Howard and Middaugh suddenly couldn't play for Ontario would anyone be picking them to win the Brier?

Maybe it's time to cut Team Canada some slack on this one.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that the reality, given the record and scores of Team Canada, that they were not even close.

Surely we are good enough to at least get to middle of the pack.

Remember, Darryl and Jim are both likely gone in two years.

Where is succession?

How effective has the funding been?

Jim had never thrown a rock four years ago. You mean players that have thrown from a chair twice as long can't even be competitive?

Anonymous said...

Actually, the above is a good point.

Jim has played four years, yet many have played over twice as long. Experience and understanding is one thing, but what about throwing?

Who can match Jim?

Maybe no one is working hard enough?

Maybe Team Canada has gotten lazy? Maybe the rest of us have as well?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said.....

"Remember, Darryl and Jim are both likely gone in two years."

Why would that be? Japan's third,Takashi Sakataya, is 77 years old. Without sweeping, curlers can play the game long after the younger players want us to. LOL

Anonymous said...

Ignoring the Canadian result, Hoe does Scotland rationalize their performance, what with the new coach, Aileen taking a three year sabbatical from teaching, etc?