Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Koe rink earns direct entry into Olympic curling trials

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MONCTON, N.B. -- Edmonton's Kevin Koe rink has become the third men's team to qualify directly for next December's Tim Hortons Olympic Curling Trials at Rexall Place in Edmonton.

Koe, with third (and last-rock thrower) Blake MacDonald, second Carter Rycroft and lead Nolan Thiessen, has built an insurmountable lead in the three-year Canadian Team Ranking System standings, a Canadian Curling Association official confirmed Saturday.

He'll join Edmonton's Kevin Martin and Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ont., in the eight-team men's field, with one more direct-entry berth to be decided at the Grey Power Players' Championships, which kick off Tuesday at the Crystal Centre in Grande Prairie. Wayne Middaugh of Toronto, Randy Ferbey of Edmonton and Winnipeg teams skipped by Jeff Stoughton and Kerry Burtnyk all are in the running for the final berth.

The remaining four berths will come out of the 12-team triple-knockout pre-Trials tournament in November in Prince George, B.C.

On the women's side, Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg and Shannon Kleibrink of Calgary are pre-qualified for the Trials.

-- Canwest News Service

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 12, 2009 C2

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