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At the end of a first season skipping his new line-up, during which they made an impact at the highest level by winning a Grand Slam title, Ross Paterson is hoping to finish on another high at the Curling World Cup Grand Final in Beijing, which gets underway tomorrow (8 -12 May).

The event which is billed as ‘where the greatest collide,’ has an illustrious list of winners from each of the three qualifying stages at Suzhou in China, Omaha in the USA and Jonkoping in Sweden before returning to China for the international series title decider. Paterson and team-mates Kyle Waddell, Duncan Menzies and Michael Goodfellow, won the Boost National title by beating Team Mouat in the first all-Scottish Slam final and hope to fare better than their previous World Cup outing when they finished second in their group in Sweden, one of the four stages of this new international series.

“The team is in a good place, it has been a long season, but at the same time it has passed by quickly and we have done a lot of good work for our first year and we are keen to finish our season as strong as we can,” said Paterson. 

“We got ourselves into the top ten of the world rankings and we have managed to find consistency, which we have talked about a lot and that is important if you are aiming to be in the top ten or top five in the world, which is where we want to be.

“In order to achieve that and to perform week in and week out, the Slams have to be a part of your schedule in order to be competing with the best where your main rivals are going to be competing. If you aspire to be the best team in the world, that is where you need to be, picking up tactics and getting that experience competing against the top teams,” he added. 

“Summarising the season, we knew we had a completely new outfit, with new positions within the team, but all four players had the same work ethic and the same commitment to each other, so we had an opportunity to be successful and we have accelerated a bit beyond what we thought we could eventually achieve together. We are all realistic, though and know we are not the finished article yet so we can all improve individually and as a team which is probably the biggest positive note to finish on. This is still year one and hopefully just the start of a good number of years together and if we can keep improving at the same rate then it is exciting to see what could potentially become of us.

“So rounding off this year at the World Cup among the best teams in the world in what has been a great new addition to the schedule is a fitting way to finish this season and hopefully another good benchmark to build upon for the season ahead.” 

Team Paterson will be competing in group B which includes Switzerland’s Team Schwaller and two former world champion skips, Canada’s Kevin Koe and, in what will be a last appearance before he and his rink retire from the sport, Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud.

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Photos: Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart. 

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