29 November 2018

Kovaleva ready for world stage

© WCF / Richard Gray

Team Alina Kovaleva and Moskaleva/Eremin set for Omaha leg.

Russia’s Alina Kovaleva is ready for her biggest test yet as a rookie skip as she heads to Omaha for the second leg of the Curling World Cup.

The newly-formed team have had tremendous success this season by winning the Prestige Hotels & Resorts Curling Classic and China Open, as well as finishing runners-up in two competitions and topping the 2018-2019 money list.

In the process, Team Alina Kovaleva have ousted Team Anna Sidorova as Russia’s number one rink – which Alina was a member of up until the end of last season.

“This season started with a summer fitness training camp for us, where we had a chance to get to know each other better, so by the time we had to step onto the ice we were good to go as a team,” revealed the 25-year-old from St. Petersburg.

“It’s not the first year that I am playing with the girls in one team representing Adamant Sports Club. We had Galina Arsenkina joining us this season, but we have known each other for a long time and we already had an experience of playing together few years ago.”

Kovaleva won world and European medals with Team Sidorova but is now eager to forge her own reputation as a skip after narrowly missing out on a medal at the recent European Championships in Tallinn, Estonia.

“We had a nice start into the season and this is an additional opportunity to play with the best teams in the world,” she added.

“We feel confident and we will try our best in order to represent our country at the second Curling World Cup Leg successfully.”

Joining Team Kovaleva in Russian colours will be Anastasia Moskaleva and Alexander Eremin, who will compete in the mixed doubles format in the Nebraskan city.

The duo were part of the Russia team that claimed bronze at this year’s World Mixed Curling Championships alongside Suzhou participants, Daniil Goriachev and Maria Komarova, and Moskaleva is expecting a tough task at the Ralston Arena next week.

“We have never been to the United States and we are always interested to discover new places,” said the 24-year old. “As for the tournament itself, we are expecting a strong performance from ourselves. All the teams are top-level opponents, so we are expecting a fight in each game.

“It is great that a Curling World Cup has been included in the curling calendar. It is comparable to something you normally see at the World Championships or Olympic Games.”

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