Calgary cashspiel aids overseas rinks

TODD SAELHOF, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:14 PM ET

Moe Meguro called a post-game meeting to talk about a final-rock loss yesterday at the 2009 Trial Appliances Autumn Gold Curling Classic.

Better rock positioning was on her mind.

"That last end was bad for us," said the tiny Japanese skip of allowing Winnipeg's Barb Spencer to count three with the hammer in a B-event loss at the annual event.

"We must win the next one." Meguro continued. "We want more games."

Certainly, the skip wants to make the trek overseas worthwhile for her team from Japan, which hopes to qualify for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Feb. 12-26 in Vancouver.

"I must learn," said Meguro, who will challenge just two other teams for the right to represent Japan during a qualification event later this year. "At this bonspiel, all the teams are very strong and competitive, so it gives us lots of experience. We are learning."

That's the aim of all five international teams -- from Japan, China, Russia, Denmark and Switzerland -- competing here at the $56,000 Autumn Gold, which wraps up tomorrow with the 3:30 p.m. finale at the Calgary Curling Club.

While Meguro, who competed at both the '02 and '06 Winter Olympiads, and Switzerland's Mirjam Ott still have to qualify in order to represent their respective nations at the upcoming Olympics, the three other skips here from overseas have already secured spots at the Games in Vancouver.

It'll be an exciting first Olympic appearance for China's Bingyu Wang, who's also looking to leave Calgary with added curling knowledge.

"Canada has so many good players and so many events, so we can learn many things from these games and from these teams," said Wang, who won her draw yesterday afternoon over Calgary's Heather Rankin to continue playing in the event's B side.

"It's the little things like sliding and sweeping and the mental (focus). That's why we come -- to make us better."

EXTRA ENDS

Calgary's Cheryl Bernard advanced to tomorrow's championship draw with an A-final win last night over Edmonton's Bobbi Sauder. Quebec's Eva Belisle also qualified for Monday with an A-side win over Regina's Amber Holland ... Draws begin today at 9:30 a.m. The B finals go at 5:30 p.m.

TODD.SAELHOF@SUNMEDIA.CA


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