MOSCOW, April 30 (RIA Novosti)
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The Russian Curling Federation has asked two foreign coaches to prepare the women’s team for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics after the sports ministry “berated” the federation for the team’s poor performance, federation president Dmitry Svishchev told RIA Novosti on Monday.
Russia finished ninth of 12 teams at the women’s world championships in Lethbridge, Canada, last month, and a council at the country’s sports, tourism and youth ministry declared the women’s team’s performance “unsatisfactory” earlier this month.
The ministry set the federation a deadline of May 15 to find a replacement for longtime head coach Olga Andrianova.
“There will be fundamental changes to the coaching staff. We’ve already asked a Canadian and a Swedish coach to work with the women’s team,” Svishchev said.
A new job will be found for Andrianova, possibly as a deputy coach, he said.
“It think that, if Olga Alexandrova [Andrianova] wants to and can work in that sort of staff, a configuration where all those in charge will be foreign, we will always agree something with her and find her a worthy position,” Svishchev said.
“We respect and value her. Everything she has done for the team is invaluable because she made this team.”
The men’s team did not qualify for the 2012 world championships, or the 2011 European championships held in Moscow. This record did not attract any criticism from the ministry, Svishchev said.
“Our men’s team doesn’t have bad results. They didn’t berate us about the men’s team, but they certainly berated us about the women’s team,” he said.
Russia has never won a world championship or Olympic medal in curling, although the women’s team skipped by Ludmila Privivkova won a European title in 2006, beating Italy 9-4 in the final.
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