Guyana crowned Men’s B-Division gold medallists at Pan Continental Curling in Canada

The Guyana Curling Federation returned to competition last week after several years off due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the Guyana men’s team becoming B-Division gold medalists at the inaugural Pan Continental Curling Championships in Canada.

Rayad Husain (skip), Jason Perreira (third), Baul Persaud (second), Khemraj Goberdhan (captain), and Paul Madgett (coach) represented the team.

Despite the inactivity, the team quickly found their stride reeling off five straight round-robin victories against developing countries Saudi Arabia (15-3), Qatar (11-3), Kenya (15-1), Nigeria (14-3), and a hard-fought victory over a talented Indian team (6-5).

The last two matches of the preliminary round went against the Guyanese side losing to Kazakhstan (11-3) and pre-tournament favorites Hong Kong (8-5). Guyana’s 5-2 record after the round-robin placed them fourth amongst the eight teams in the division and earned them a rematch against undefeated Hong Kong in the semi-finals.

It should be noted that Guyana played the last three matches of the match with only three players after Gobardhan was injured after falling in the game against India.

Playing with just three men, Guyana beat India 7-6 and secured promotion to the next season in Group A. The Gold Medal Game started in India’s favor and in the 3rd end, Rayad Hussain took control of the game as he scored 2 points to lead 2-1.

Accordingly, at the end of the half, Guyana was ahead by 4 points. Leading until the end, Guyana won 8-5 to win a historic first gold medal for Guyana and South America at an international curling event.

Looking ahead, Husain said,

“This is a huge win for our country. Now everyone knows about Guyana and that we can curl at a high level. I can’t quite believe what we have accomplished, and I’m especially proud of how we dug in as a team as three players for the final games. It was just meant to be.”

Guyana is among the eight elite nations competing in next year’s Pan Continental Division A against superpowers Canada, USA, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Chinese Taipei.

Accordingly, the Top 5 in the A Division next year will earn a berth in the 2024 World Men’s Curling Championship at a venue still to be decided and will allow countries to earn valuable points towards Olympic qualification in 2026 in Milan Cortina.

Guyana’s next international is the World Mixed Doubles Qualifiers in Dumfries, Scotland from December 2-7.

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