Hasselborg 'super excited' as homeland hosts leg three
Olympic champion calls Curling World Cup “a great event - and a really tough one too”
Anna Hasselborg is ready to embrace the pressure of competing on home ice against a world-class field when Curling World Cup leg three begins on Wednesday at Jonkoping Curling Club.
Team Hasselborg were crowned Olympic champions 11 months ago in PyeongChang and that status will bring with it expectations of further success from their home crowd in southern Sweden this week.
Hasselborg and team-mates Sofia Mabergs, Agnes Knockenhauer and Sara McManus are yet to nail down an automatic leg winner’s place for May’s Curling World Cup Grand Final in Beijing, having lost to Canada in the Suzhou final and finished third in their group in Omaha.
The skip paid tribute to the depth of quality in the field that has thus far prevented her all-conquering rink experiencing that familiar feel of gold medals around their neck.
“It is a great event, and a really tough one too,” said the 29-year-old. “You can't afford not to play on your top level when you're playing the world's best teams and if you lose you might not have it in your own faith to make the final.
“But that is the kind of pressure that make you develop as a team.”
The Swedish rink have already won an event on home ice this season at the Stockholm Ladies’ Cup last October, and the chance to do so in an even bigger event is a thrilling prospect.
“We are super excited to have something this big in our home country. We are sure that the Swedish organization committee will do a fantastic job on hosting a great event.
“It really is a great chance to display our wonderful sport in our home country and we are pretty happy about not to having to travel too!”
After a career-defining year in 2018, Hasselborg is eager to push on in the coming months with the 2019 World Women’s Curling Championships in Denmark in March and a potential Grand Final in Beijing in May.
“Our goal for 2019 is to continue to develop as a team, to learn and become better and better.
“Our focus is set on the Worlds and to have the energy for the whole season and hopefully make it to Beijing and finish strongly in that season-ending Grand Final.”
This week, Sweden have been drawn in Group A alongside Canada’s Team Darcy Robertson, China’s Jiang Lijun and Team Anna Sidorova of Russia – a rink Hasselborg has faced regularly over the years.
Sidorova and Hasselborg both competed at the 2010 World Junior Curling Championships, with the Russian claiming victory on that occasion in Switzerland.
“There are so many terrific teams that we have played since juniors, Anna Sidorova is one great example.
“It's amazing to battle tough and good teams and we are looking forward to two great battles here in Jonkoping.“