China`s new curling coach focused on Olympic berth

Vancouver: Marcel Rocque, new head coach of China`s national curling programme, says his main priority as he begins his tenure is ensuring the women`s team qualifies for February`s Sochi Olympics.

With the China men`s team having already qualified for the Winter Games by virtue of a sixth-place finish at the world championship in April, the women`s squad led by Wang Bingyu, the 2009 world champion, will be looking to join them with a successful showing at the final Olympic qualifier in December, reports Xinhua.

The Chinese women`s team, who won a bronze at the 2010 Winter Olympics here, the country`s first curling medal, will be among seven nations in Fuessen, Germany, fighting for the final two spots to be among the 10 nations qualifying for the Games.

"They`re definitely skilled and I`m not sure why in the last few years they`ve underperformed, but that`s my focus is to try to figure out what is causing them to underperform," said Rocque, a 42-year-old Canadian who was hired by the China Curling Association in June on a 10-month contract to oversee the men`s and women`s national teams, as well as three junior teams.