John Shuster from Duluth, Minn., the 2018 men’s Olympic curling champion, is among the favourites in the men’s draw at the 2022 Prestige Hotels and Resorts Curling Classic which begins Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Vernon Curling Club. (AP Photo / Rebecca S. Gratz)

John Shuster from Duluth, Minn., the 2018 men’s Olympic curling champion, is among the favourites in the men’s draw at the 2022 Prestige Hotels and Resorts Curling Classic which begins Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Vernon Curling Club. (AP Photo / Rebecca S. Gratz)

Vernon curling classic draws Olympic, provincial champs

Prestige Hotels and Resorts Curling Classic begins Thursday, Sept 29, at Vernon Curling Club

Olympic and provincial champions highlight the fields for the 2022 Prestige Hotels and Resorts Curling Classic at the Vernon Curling Club.

The women’s event gets underway Thursday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m., while the men start play at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30.

There will be three or four draws Friday and Saturday, leading up to Sunday’s playoff day. The playoffs will go at 9 a.m. and 12 p.m., followed by the finals at 3 p.m.

The three favourites on the women’s side include 2020 and 2021 Scotties B.C. champion Corryn Brown and her rink out of Kamloops, along with six-time Japan champion and Olympic medalist Satsuki Fujisawa of Japan (won bronze in 2018 Olympics, silver in 2022) and four-time Korean champ Eunji Gim, who qualified for the 2014 Olympics.

Other teams to watch include Kaila Buchy of Kimberley, whose rink includes Vernon’s Jaelyn Cotter. Buchy won gold at the 2018 B.C. U18 and finished third the same year at the U18 nationals. She won the national championship in the U21 event in 2020.

The men’s field is highlighted by the appearance of seven-time U.S. champion John Shuster, who won gold at the 2018 Olympics, and bronze in 2006.

Shuster, from Duluth, Minn., and Kelowna’s Brent Pierce are the favourites in the men’s draw. Pierce won a world title in 2000, and represented B.C. at the Brier in 2022.

The rest of the fields include:

WOMEN

Shiela Cowan, New Westminster;

Diane Gushulak (Prince George and Okanagan), has local curlers Alyssa Kyllo and Brette Richards on team;

Jessie Hunkin (Alberta) – Won bronze at the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts; has guided own team to four World Curling Tour wins;

Ikue Kitazawa (Japan) – two-time Japan national champ; competed at 2022 World Ladies Championships in Prince George;

Lisa Parent (Alberta);

Taylor Reese-Hansen (B.C.);

Kayla Skrlik (Alberta);

Momoha Tabata (Japan) – competed at 2020 Youth Winter Olympics;

Sarah Wark (B.C.) – 2019 B.C. Scotties Champion.

MEN

Nolan Blaeser (Vernon and Salmon Arm) – local junior boys;

Cameron De Jong (B.C.)

Sean Geall (B.C.) – three-time B.C. Mens Champion;

Kohsuke Hirata (Japan) – 2016 Pacific-Asian champion, 2018 Olympic appearance;

Rob Nobert (Okanagan) – local;

Sebastien Robillard (B.C.);

Randie Shen (Chinese Taipei) – 12-time Chinese Taipei champion;

Cody Tanaka (B.C.)

Riku Yanagisawa (Japan) – coached by Bob Ursel; 2018 Olympic appearance; 2022 Japan champion.

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@VernonNews
roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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