MIXED DOUBLES TEAMS SET FOR SOCHI INTERNATIONAL
Olympic silver medallist Scott Andrews will return to the venue where he celebrated his greatest sporting success when he competes in the International Mixed Doubles in Sochi which gets underway tomorrow (8-11 November).
“It will be really interesting to go back to the Ice Cube – I remember really noisy crowds there giving so much support and it was a first class facility so it will be intriguing to see if it has changed much since the Olympics four years ago.
“This time around it is obviously a very different environment, I am part of a mixed doubles squad and it is nice that I will be able to share this experience with my playing partner Gina (Aitken) and also Greg (Drummond), who was part of that 2014 success and it is interesting how our careers have changed since then, now that I am competing in this new Olympic discipline and he is now part of our coaching team.
“The squad set up has been a really positive one, I feel like I am gaining experience every day with Gina and after reaching the final in Kitzbuehel which was our last event and our best result to date since we joined forces, we have continued to work on improvements since then. It will also be good that we are not in the same groups as our squad mates, as we were in Kitzbuehel, so we can avoid each other until hopefully we all make the quarter finals,” Andrews added.
Andrews and four times Scottish Mixed Doubles Champion Aitken are among three teams representing British Curling at the event in Russia. They are joined by English champions, brother and sister combination Anna and Ben Fowler, as well as Scottish champions Jayne Stirling and Fraser Kingan who will all travel on to compete in an event in Bern after the tournament in Sochi.
“We know what a fantastic event the Bern Mixed Doubles is and it will be pretty special playing at the Olympic venue in Sochi. There will be a lot of strong opposition at both competitions, so it's definitely shaping up to be an exciting couple of weeks.
“Since Kitzbuhel we've been back on the ice and in the gym, fine-tuning technically and strategically to make sure we can perform even better in Sochi and Bern,” she said.
Fraser Kingan meanwhile added: “We’re really looking forward to our first double header trip of the season after a great event out in Austria a couple of weeks ago.
“We’ve been refining our processes since then and are looking forward to putting them into practice against some new opposition that we haven’t faced before. Sochi will be such a great experience for us going to play in the Ice Cube Arena, especially with Greg and Scott joining us after winning their silver medal there.”
Photos: Scott Andrews (top) - Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart, Anna and Ben Fowler and Jayne Stirling and Fraser Kingan (below) - WCF / Richard Gray.