Ho­man, Gushue will lead the Roar

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - GREGORY STRONG

World cham­pi­ons Brad Gushue and Rachel Ho­man will head­line the field at the 2017 Tim Hor­tons Roar of the Rings.

The Dec. 2-10 com­pe­ti­tion at the Cana­dian Tire Cen­tre will serve as the qual­i­fy­ing event in four-player curl­ing for the 2018 Win­ter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Gushue from St. John’s and Ho­man from Ot­tawa both went un­de­feated at their re­spec­tive world cham­pi­onships af­ter win­ning na­tional ti­tles ear­lier in the sea­son.

Seven men’s teams and seven women’s teams had their par­tic­i­pa­tion for the Tri­als con­firmed Mon­day in a re­lease by Curl­ing Canada.

Join­ing Gushue in the men’s field are reign­ing Olympic cham­pion Brad Ja­cobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Winnipeg’s Reid Car­ruthers, Toronto’s John Ep­ping, Calgary’s Kevin Koe, Saska­toon’s Steve Lay­cock and Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen.

Reign­ing Olympic women’s cham­pion Jen­nifer Jones will join Ho­man in the women’s field along with Calgary’s Chelsea Carey, Winnipeg’s Michelle En­glot, Alli Flaxey of Cale­don, Ont., Casey Schei­deg­ger of Leth­bridge, Alta., and Ed­mon­ton’s Val Sweet­ing.

The com­plete field will be rounded out af­ter the Nov. 6-12 Road to the Roar Pre-Tri­als at Credit Union Place in Sum­mer­side, P.E.I. Two men’s teams and two women’s teams from that 24-team field will qual­ify for the Olympic Tri­als.

The qual­i­fy­ing process for the Roar of the Rings be­gan in the 201415 sea­son.

Teams could lock up berths by win­ning a na­tional ti­tle (and reach­ing the podium at the world cham­pi­onship), win­ning a Home Hard­ware Canada Cup or via per­for­mance on the Cana­dian Team Rank­ing Sys­tem.

Cana­dian curl­ing teams have reached the podium in ev­ery Olympic curl­ing com­pe­ti­tion since the sport was re-in­tro­duced as a medal sport at the 1998 Nagano Games.

Jones earned a di­rect berth into the 2013 Roar of the Rings be­fore win­ning the Tri­als and then Olympic gold.

Ja­cobs came out of the Road to the Roar com­pe­ti­tion be­fore win­ning the Tri­als and an Olympic ti­tle.

The Road to the Roar field is ex­pected to be fi­nal­ized later this month.

The Pyeongchang Games will be held Feb. 9-25.


World cham­pi­ons Brad Gushue and Rachel Ho­man head­line the field head­ing into the 2017 Tim Hor­tons Roar of the Rings set for Dec. 2-10 in Ot­tawa.


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