|Norway skip Thomas Ulsrud and his fashion sense will make a statement at next month's worlds in Regina. (QMI Agency/Daniel Mallard)
LONDON, Ont. -- Fans going to the Ford world men's curling championship next month in Regina would be advised to pack some sunglasses.
The reason won't be so much any Prairie sunlight as it will be the almost-blinding pants being worn by one of the entries.
Yes, Thomas Ulsrud is back.
The flamboyant Norwegian, runner-up in the 2010 Olympics and the 2010 worlds to a pair of Alberta Kevins -- Martin and Koe, respectively -- is leading the eight-strong European contingent at the April 2-10 competition. The qualifiers were the top eight nations at the European championships in Champery, Switzerland, in December -- Norway won gold, followed by Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Scotland, Sweden, Czech Republic and France.
Denmark will be represented by Tommy Stjerne, who defeated his son Rasmus in their national final last month to earn his eighth trip to the world championship.
Scotland's rep will be Tom Brewster, who ousted 2009 champion David Murdoch in the semifinals last month in Perth, stealing one in an extra end. This will be his world championship debut.
Veteran Andy Kapp is once again representing Germany. Another 2010 Olympian, he led Germany to silver-medal finishes at the 1997 and 2007 worlds and won bronze in 1994, 1995 and 2005.
Niklas Edin, the fourth-place finisher in the Vancouver Olympics, will skip Sweden's entry, with the other European entries being Jiri Snitil of the Czech Republic, Tony Angiboust of France and Christof Schwaller of Switzerland.
Pete Fenson of Bimidji, Minn., won his second straight American title last month in Fargo, N.D., stealing one in the 11th end to beat Tyler George of Duluth, Minn., 6-5. The win gave Fenson his fifth U.S. title as a skip, tying him with 1976 world champion Bruce Roberts for No. 1 on that list, and was his seventh overall.
As the U.S. was not challenged by any other country in the Americas Zone, it automatically qualified for Regina.
Luan Chen of China and Dong Keun Lee of South Korea qualified by finishing first and second, respectively, at the Pacific championship in November in Uiseong, South Korea.
Now all that remains to be decided is who will be the home country favourite.