The women’s world championships get underway today and it’s a chance for Jennifer Jones to make up for that disaster in Paisley, Scotland in her last trip to the world championships. Not a stretch to say that event was probably the worst in the history of the world championships. There have been some pretty crazy world championships over the years, but that may take the cake and it’s hard to fault Jones for her poor performance there. Although the conditions were the same for everyone, that became not much more than a crapshoot and hardly a reflection of good curling.
To prepare for this week, Jones and her team spent a lot of time last week throwing rocks on the ice at the Brier, practicing on the arena conditions.
In the old days, any Canadian team would go into the world final as the favourite. I think Jones will do that this week, but the era of just walking through most of the field are over. Long gone. The other countries don’t have the depth Canada does, but they do have a remarkably talented team or two. I think Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott and Debbie McCormick of the U.S. will be the main contenders but there are a number of others who’ve benefited from the Olympic money being poured into the training of these players. The Russians and the Chinese are perfect examples of this.
As I’ve written before, I think Jones is probably the most determined and focused curler in the game today. She seems to have a Tiger-like drive in her. That will put her in good position to finally win a world title, but it won’t come easily. And as we saw in the Brier final last week, bad ice doesn’t just happen in countries outside of Canada. No matter how good you are, there’s always an element of luck in any championship.