Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hungary’s Alexandra Beres

FÜSSEN – Remember this gal?

Athlete is actually the correct term. And how.

Alexandra Beres of Hungary is here, playing third for skip Ildiko Szekeres in the B Division. Beres has appeared at the Euros before, and she’s also appeared in The Curling News before – the print edition, that is, back in 2004/05 or so.

In that story, we ran a bunch of photos – including the one at left – and profiled the woman who has become a fitness legend in her country; the winner of countless professional fitness competitions, who has appeared on countless TV shows, and even endorses products.

She actually flew home on Monday, to appear at an important competition in Budapest, and returned in time for her team’s night game!

Beres is just getting noticed here in Füssen – a few years behind TCN, it must be noted (ahem) – and just as the B Division wraps up round-robin play tonight. Her squad finished 4-2 and in a three-way tie for second in their pool (with Estonia and France) behind Norway (6-0)... so the Hungarian ladies are into a tiebreaker, at the very least.

It’s just nice to finally get a photo of her doing what we assume she loves to do – throw rocks, while covering up her usual bikini with some warm clothes!

Thanks to Bob Cowan for the curling pic.

Meanwhile, A Division action is down to the short strokes. The last women’s round-robin game is starting now, and Scotland’s Kelly Wood (5-3) is in a must-win against Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott, who is already into the playoffs at 7-1 (tape-delayed on Eurosport TV, 18:00 GMT).

Denmark’s Lene Nielsen and Sweden’s Anette Norberg are also in at 7-1, and Russia’s Ludmila Privivkova has a slim chance at a tiebreaker; she is taking her 4-4 record up against Italy’s 3-5 mark (right now on and

And now for the boys. With the final men’s draw set for tomorrow morning, today’s single-draw results left three teams clear into the playoffs, and many others with a chance of a tiebreaker berth for the fourth spot.

Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud defeated Scotland's David Murdoch 7-6 when Murdoch’s draw to a near-open house came up short. It was a sudden and devastating setback for the Scots, who dropped to 4-4 and a third-place tie with Sweden (6-5 winners over the Czech Republic) and Germany (7-3 victors over France).

Switzerland, who defeated Finland 7-1, and Denmark, 6-5 winners over Italy, are both at 6-2 and are assured of the playoffs. Norway has locked up the first playoff berth with a spotless 8-0 record.

The playoff scene could be very simple... or very crowded, with no less than five teams in possible, albeit unlikely, contention.

“It’s always fun to talk about mass tiebreakers,” said Keith Wendorf, Director of Competitions for the World Curling Federation.

“Of course, when you do talk about it, it never seems to actually happen.”