Brazil withdraws from Americas Challenge
"It is with great regret that we have to withdraw from the America's Challenge. As a result of recently losing our team coach, the team feels they are not playing well enough to constitute a proper and fit challenge to Team USA for the last remaining place at the 2012 World Men's Championship," according to the Brazilian Ice Sports Federation. All five Brazilian nationals - Luis Silva, Celso Kossaka, Marcelo Mello, Cesar Santos and Filipe Nunes - are currently training in Quebec, Canada, at the Lennoxville Curling Club.
"We were disappointed to hear that the Brazilians were not able to continue their challenge for the America's berth, as our team and host committee were well prepared and looking forward to welcoming the challengers," said Rick Patzke, chief operating officer for USA Curling. "Of course, having USA's berth in the Worlds now secured allows our contending teams to focus their attention on making sure they are prepared to peak in Basel."
Brazil issued its third challenge against the U.S. for the berth this fall and was set to play in a best-of-five competition against Pete Fenson's team, which was selected to represent the U.S. at the challenge. The Brazilians have previously challenged the U.S. for the men's world berths in 2009 and 2010 but have thus far been unsuccessful on the ice in their attempts.
Twelve teams compete at both the men's and women's World Curling Championships each year. Two teams represent the Americas Zone, encompassing both North and South America. Since the inception of the world championships, the only two World Curling Federation member associations to represent the Americas have been Canada and the United States.
Canada automatically qualified for the 2012 Worlds because they ranked higher at the completion of the 2011 Worlds (Canada finished first to USA's 10th place showing). Brazil, a WCF member since 1998, was challenging the U.S. for the second Americas berth in Basel. The 2012 Men's Worlds will take place March 31-April 8. The complete team line-up for the 2012 Men's Worlds is now: Switzerland (host), Canada, China, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Scotland, Germany, France and USA. More information about the 2012 Men's World Championship can be found online at http://wmcc2012.curlingevents.com/.