Russian pair seal special invite spot
Goriachev hopes to use the experience gained this season in China.
World silver medallists Maria Komarova and Daniil Goriachev have been named as the special invite team which will head to the Curling World Cup Grand Final in Beijing between 8-12 May.
The Russian pair took to the ice in Suzhou and Jonkoping, claiming five wins in all, but were unable to make it past the round-robin stage in either leg.
The young duo, however, showed promising signs in Sweden and were well on course for a final spot before losing their last two round-robin games.
“When we were told that we’ll go to Beijing, we became really happy,” said Goriachev. “Every leg has been incredible so we are very proud to participate in the Grand Final.
“The ice in Sweden was great, it helped us to use our strength. We couldn’t reach the final, but we got that invaluable experience and we’re going to use that in the Grand Final.”
In Beijing, they will have a chance to avenge their loss in the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship final to Michele Jaeggi and Sven Michel, after their team’s entry was confirmed on Wednesday.
Komarova, 20 and Goriachev, 24, already have a title to their names this season, winning the WCT Mixed Doubles Cup Geising in Germany last October. However, they finished third in their national championships in February to miss out on qualifying for the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Norway next month.
Born and raised in Saint Petersburg, Komarova recently skipped her Russian team – coached by Alina Kovaleva - to a bronze medal at her home Winter Universiade.
With up to $USD 22,500 on offer to the mixed doubles champion in the Grand Final, Goriachev admitted the “money on offer is a great motivation” and provided a little insight into their work behind the scenes.
“We work a lot together discussing practices, analysing every tournament in detail. We do everything to improve our game skills and we both want to win and that is what unites us most.”