The clock is running
The clock is running
Countdown to Worlds starts on Red Square
A clock already stands on Manezhnaya Square in Moscow, counting down the days to the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Now the countdown is running nearby Moscow’s most famous square for the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
The President of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia, Vladislav Tretiak, the head of the Moscow Sport Committee, Alexei Vorobyov, and the president of the official timekeeper Tissot, Francois Thiebaud walked down the red carpet.
“We wish to congratulate you on this occasion. It’s only 100 days left till the start of this big tournament, which shall be held in Moscow and St. Petersburg,” announced Tretiak. “Russia is hosting the World Championship for the third time (as a separate country) already. We have prepared a new arena and the IIHF commission has examined it. Everyone is pleased with the preparations. We shall wish success to the Russian national team. And together we will support its magnificent hockey.”
“It is a great pleasure to be here with you and share this passion for sports,” said Thiebaud. “We love hockey. It is the union of individual and collective skills. Russia is very strong in doing that, may success be with you. The Swiss company Tissot has been cooperating with the IIHF for more than 20 years. We are proud of our long-term relationship and are ready to provide the world cup with high-precision timing which uses new technologies.”
Vladislav Tretiak was usually the goalkeeper. But, here he picked up a stick, cleared the snow from the carpet, threw the puck on which it was written "100 days until the start of the World championship" and let go a beautiful backhand shot.
Tretiak did not miss and scored a goal. This means that the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will be a success. And on the spot the numbers started to run on the board: 99 days 23 hours 59 minutes 59 seconds.
“Everything is ready, only a few details are left,” said Vladislav Tretiak. “We are now going to hold a tournament in St. Petersburg to test the Yubileiny. The president of the IIHF, Rene Fasel, visited us and he had no complaints.”
We asked Tretiak some questions on the occasion.
The Russian team has taken the last place of the Channel One Cup for the first time in history. Is there any reason to be alarmed before the World Championship?
In order to win you sometimes have to lose. When everything is easy before the main tournament, you tend to relax. You need to reach the target through hardships. At least our coach, Oleg Znarok, now knows who in the team is a real fighter. Some players will not be part of the team now.
Does the situation with the goalkeeper not worry you? Sergei Bobrovski is getting injures one after another and Semyon Varlamov has once been put on trial in Denver.
I worry together with the fans. But I believe that everything will be alright. These are the two main goalkeepers of the Russian team. Varlamov has shown very good hockey in January. But I hope that Bobrovski’s health will improve and that he will be part of the team. However, it is hard to tell who will be there at the playoffs.
How much does the Russian national team depend on NHL players?
We shall gather a strong team this year. After all, the World championship starts on 6th May and the final is due for the 22nd. Only those whose team will be in the semi-finals of the Stanley Cup won’t be present. We shall call the best.
Some fans in Russia are asking about ticket prices.
The price depends on the world standard of the IIHF. The tickets are not more expensive than the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Prague and Ostrava. Our supporters bought them when they came to the Czech Republic. The federation is not responsible for the tickets, the organizing committee is. We however follow the sales schedule and await a full house in the matches.
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