World Curling Federation have announced the qualifiers for the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympics ©WCF

The World Curling Federation (WCF) have confirmed the 24 nations who will competed at tnext year's Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne.

Host nation Switzerland were assured of competing at the Games, with their team joined by the top 15 National Olympic Committees based on a ranking list.

The ranking list was based on points accumulated by nations from their final ranking positions at the 2018 and 2019 World Junior and World Junior-B Curling Championships.

Canada and the United States were the North American nations to qualify, while Brazil will be the sole South American team at the Games.

China, South Korea and Japan earned three Pacific spots, with New Zealand earning a place for Oceania.

Norway, Sweden, Britain, Russia, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Hungary sealed European places based on the ranking list.

Britain’s spot was secured based on points earned by Scotland.

The remaining eight places were determined using the governing body’s women’s and men’s junior ranking lists.

Places were allocated by alternating the highest ranked National Olympic Committees not already qualified, first from the women’s list and then from the men’s list.

The Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia and Denmark qualified due to the women’s ranking list, while Spain, Latvia, France and Slovenia advanced due to the men’s list.

Denmark, France, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia and Spain will make their Winter Youth Olympic debuts in curling, with Canada set to begin as the defending champions.

The World Junior Curling Championships were part of the qualification process ©WCF
The World Junior Curling Championships were part of the qualification process ©WCF

The total of 24 teams is the largest to date with Innsbruck 2012 and Lillehammer 2016 having featured 16.

A total of 96 athletes, with equal numbers for men and women, will compete at the Games with curling action due to place from January 10 to 22.

"The increased number of teams participating in the Youth Olympic Games offers our Member Associations and their athletes the chance to compete and experience the thrills and demands of an elite multi-sport Olympic event with world-class curling facilities," WCF President Kate Caithness said. 

Curling will have two medal events with the first featuring 24 mixed teams, which consist of two female and two male athletes and no alternates,

It will be followed by a combined National Olympic Committee mixed doubles event featuring with 48 teams.

The latter event has been claimed to promote the Olympic values of "Respect, Friendship and Excellence" by pairing athletes from different nations together.

Curling during the Winter Youth Olympic Games is set to be played in Champéry at the Palladium de Champéry in Lausanne.

The venue has held numerous international curling events in the past, including the World Mixed Curling Championship in 2017.