Afghanistan set to play ‘chess on ice’ on world stage

 Wed 6 Dec 2017

Mohammad Ibrahim Momand

KABUL (SW): Afghanistan is set to record its maiden entry in the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2018 in Sochi, Russia next year.

Munawar Shah Shahzad, head of the Afghanistan Curling Federation, and spokesman for the Afghanistan Olympic Committee, told Salam Watandar that it is a landmark achievement by the national team in such a short time. He said the national team displayed exceptional performance at the training camp in Kazakhstan that paved the way for the grand event.

The 8-member national team is in Moscow, and would return home tomorrow. According to Munawar Shah Shahzad, the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2018 would take place in Sochi, Russia in March next year.

Afghanistan won bronze medal at the training event in Kazakhstan. The head of the Afghanistan Curling Federation informed that up to 60 players are registered with the Federation in Kabul, Bamyan, Maidan Wardak, Panjshir and Parwan provinces.

Nicknamed as ‘chess on ice’, curling is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles. It is related to bowls, boules and shuffleboard.

The sport is most firmly established in Canada, having been taken there by Scottish emigrants. Curling was one of the first sports that were popular with women and girls. Since the 1998 Olympics, Canada has dominated the sport with their men's teams winning gold in 2006, 2010, and 2014, and silver in 1998 and 2002. The women's team won gold in 1998 and 2014, a silver in 2010, and a bronze in 2002 and 2006.