SPORTS

Desert to ice: Qatar takes on curling at Asian Winter Games

SAPPORO, Japan (AP) For members of Qatar women's curling team, just about everything is a new experience.

Curling, a sport that has links with medieval Scotland and is more suited to the Canadian prairies, has taken a small foothold in the Middle East.

Just how new are Qatar's players to the sport? Some of them in Japan for the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo had never experienced snow before.

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The fledgling curlers are doing their best to get up to speed but it's a huge challenge when you live in a desert climate.

The Qatari women can only train one day a week on ice that is not quite up to international standards.

It's a tough road ahead. Qatar lost 17-1 Saturday to Japan in a preliminary round game at Sapporo Curling Stadium.