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Turkish team no-shows opening ceremony at world men's curling championship

World Curling Federation logo World Curling Federation - The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Turkey's first appearance at a world men's curling championship got off to an inauspicious start Saturday as the team no-showed the opening ceremony due to an apparent miscommunication.

Vice Muhammet Haydar Demirel said the team was "sad" and "unhappy" to miss it, claiming the absence was due to an incorrect date in the competitor guide.

"The World Curling (Federation) said that the opening ceremony was on the second day, but (it was on) the first day," he said via a team interpreter.

Scott Arnold, the WCF's head of development, said organizers learned before a pre-competition team meeting of an error on the playing schedule.

All teams — including Turkey — were advised of the corrected information and a slide deck of notes outlining the ceremony details was relayed to all in attendance, Arnold said in an email.

"The organizing committee welcomes everybody to attend a short opening ceremony," the slide said, noting teams were requested to be ready at TD Place on Saturday at 12:15 p.m. Eastern Time.

The mandatory team meeting was held Thursday night, said WCF media officer Emily Dwyer.

Curlers from the other 12 teams were on hand for the formal introductions to launch the nine-day competition. With no Turkish players present, the in-arena host simply announced the name of the country and the flag-bearer walked out alone.

"Participation in the opening ceremony is expected among teams," Dwyer said in an email. "This morning was a unique situation which we will be debriefing in our season review."

There were no plans for a fine or disciplinary action, she added.

The Turkish team, skipped by Ugurcan Karagoz, arrived at the arena in the late afternoon for their evening game against Japan, a 4-3 loss in an extra end.

The team interpreter said the players were at their hotel when they learned about the mixup.

The Canadian team that won gold at the 1993 world men's championship was honoured during the ceremony.

Russ Howard, Glenn Howard, Wayne Middaugh and Peter Corner defeated Scotland 8-4 in the final that year in Geneva.

The players reunited Saturday — complete in vintage white Canada jackets — and Russ threw the ceremonial first stone while his brother held the broom.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2023.

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