The first leg of the inaugural Curling World Cup is due to begin in Suzhou in China tomorrow.
Twenty-four teams, 82 athletes and 10 countries are set to compete at the event at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre.
The new international competition has four legs, with winners from each event gaining a spot in the Grand Final, to be held in 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games host city Beijing in May 2019.
Suzhou will be followed by Omaha in United States and Jonkoping in Sweden in staging Curling World Cup events.
Each event will hold women’s, men’s and mixed double’s competitions.
The matches will only feature eight ends, instead of ten, and in a result of a tie, a one-stone shootout will determine the winner.
The eight teams in each event will be split into two pools of four and play in a double round robin tournament, with the top two teams progressing.
Competition gets underway in Suzhou with four matches in each category.
In the women’s draw, Olympic champions Sweden face hosts China in their first round match.
Sweden, skipped by Anna Hasselborg, won Olympic gold in Pyeongchang 2018 and silver at the World Women’s Curling Championships in March.
Japan face a changed Scotland team, as long-term skip Eve Muirhead is recovering from surgery and will not compete.
In Pool B, Canada face Russia, while South Korea play the US.
Canada’s Rachel Homan skips her team against Anna Sidorova’s Russia.
American Nina Roth will take on a South Korean team headed by Minji Kim, who will represent the country at the competition following a surprising win over the “Garlic Girls” from Pyeongchang 2018.
In the men’s event, Sweden and Canada are drawn in separate pools.
World number one-ranked Sweden will take on hosts China, Norway and the US in their first pool matches.
Canada’s squad has been reshuffled with BJ Neufeld and Colton Flasch coming into the team.
Kevin Koe will need to steer his team to victory against Pool B contenders Switzerland, Scotland and Japan.
In the mixed doubles, Swiss pair Jenny Perret and Martin Rios face the Chinese duo of Yu Jiaxin and Wang Xiangkun in the first round.
Perret and Rios took silver at the Pyeongchang 2018 and will face South Korea and the US in their next matches.
Laura Walker and Kirk Muyers of Canada star in Pool A as bronze medallists at the World Championships.
They’ll face Norway in their first test, with Russia and Sweden completing the group.