Less than three weeks are left to the start of the World Winter Universiade. Now is a high season for the athletes with grueling training, qualifying games, and psychological preparation. The Student Games in Almaty will be held on 12 types of sports. A hockey tournament is expected to become one of the most spectacular competitions. Athletes of Kazakhstan women's national hockey team say they are confident in their abilities, but also count on the support of the audience.

GALIA NURGALIEVA, MEMBER OF KAZAKHSTAN’S NATIONAL ICE HOCKEY TEAM:

This is an indescribable experience when you touch the ice and all the bleachers are full. Not only your relatives and friends are there, people come just to see how girls play ice hockey.

In the Universiade’s qualifying tournament, Kazakhstan team will play in a group with Canada, Great Britain and China. The Kazakh female athletes aim to leave the group and then take place on the podium in the tournament’s finals. Alexander Maltsev has coached the women's national team for many years. His team won the Asian Games three times. The team’s composition has been renewed by 60% since 2011. At present, the team includes not only experienced players but also ambitious newcomers. This particular squad took the third place in their division at the World Championships in 2014. 

ALEXANDER MALTSEV, HEAD COACH, KAZAKHSTAN WOMEN’S NATIONAL ICE HOCKEY TEAM:

On behalf of the team, I would like to invite all hockey fans to support all students during the Universiade, all our team members who will represent Kazakhstan, and will lead a fierce struggle to win.

Kazakhstan’s national ski racing team is preparing for the Universiade as well. The team of 19 athletes went to the training camp in Belarus. They will be trained by Alexander Batyaikin in Minsk and come back in Almaty on January 16.

YURY STAROSTIN, HONORED COACH OF KAZAKHSTAN IN SKI RACING:

We have a good performance history. We have always had winners and therefore expect a considerable amount of gold, silver and bronze medals at the Universiade.

Freestyle acrobatics athletes are actively preparing for the upcoming Games. Training is in full swing. The athletes are set to meet the expectations of not only their coaches but of the fans.

Zhanbota ALDABERGENOVA, FREESTYLE ATHLETE:

We are prepared. We started training in Finland, where we have shown a good result. Hopefully, we will win.

Kazakhstan skaters are at a training camp in China preparing for the Universiade. They will train until January 18 by the chief coach, the bronze medalist in Nagano Winter Olympics Lyudmila Prokasheva. After that, the team will return to Almaty. The competition among the skaters at the World Student Games will be held from January 31 to February 6 at the high-mountain skating rink "Medeu". 

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