The event is due to take place at the ATB Centre in Lethbridge ©City of Lethbridge Council

Vital qualification points for next year's Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang will be on offer during the upcoming World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship, which begins at the ATB Centre in Lethbridge tomorrow.

The full list of teams due to compete at Pyeongchang 2018, where mixed doubles curling is making its debut on the programme, will be known after the conclusion of the event in Alberta next Thursday (April 27).

A total of 16 teams, spread across eight countries are set to participate at the Winter Olympics in the South Korean resort.

The seven Member Associations with the most points from 2016 and 2017 will gain qualification to the Games and join hosts South Korea, who are guaranteed a place in the mixed doubles curling event.

Russian duo Anastasia Brygalova and Alexander Krushelnitskiy are returning to defend the title they won at the 2016 edition of the World Mixed Doubles Championship in Karlstad in Sweden.

Chinese pair Rui Wang and Dexin Ba, who had to settle for silver last year after they were beaten by the Russians in the final, are also competing in Lethbridge.

They are among the 39 teams who have entered the competition.

Women's world champion Joanne Courtney is due to compete for Canada ©WCF
Women's world champion Joanne Courtney is due to compete for Canada ©WCF

The defending champions have been drawn in Group E, along with New Zealand, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland.

China will go up against Australia, Austria, Israel, South Korea, Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden in Group C.

Belarus, Brazil, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Japan, and Latvia make up Group A, while Bulgaria, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Scotland, Serbia, and Wales feature in Group B.

Group D is comprised of hosts Canada, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Turkey and the United States.

Round-robin action begins tomorrow, with the the 16 top-ranked teams progressing to the knockout phase.

Winners will continue to the quarter-finals and onwards to the medal games, while others will take part in classification matches.