Rachel Homan wasn’t intimidated by big names like Nedohin, Jones, Scott and Arsenault at the recent Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
The young Ottawa skip beat them all en route to her first Canadian women’s curling title.
Next up is the world women’s curling championship in Riga, Latvia. Homan will represent Canada at the March 16-24 event and her confidence is just as high now as it was before the nationals.
“Before we went in (to the Scotties) I said that I believed that we could win it,” Homan said Wednesday on a conference call. “The same goes for worlds.”
Scotland’s Eve Muirhead, China’s Bingyu Wang and Germany’s Andrea Schoepp are some of the other top skips in the 12-team field at the Volvo Sports Center.
Homan estimates she has played about half of the skips in the field over her career. The Canadian rink of Homan, Emma Miskew, Alison Kreviazuk and Lisa Weagle will open round-robin play against Scotland.
Also competing are Denmark’s Lene Nielsen, Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni, Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa, Italy’s Diana Gaspari, Russia’s Anna Sidorova and Sweden’s Margaretha Sigfridsson. Erika Brown will lead the American team and Iveta Stasa-Sarsune will skip the host Latvian side.
Canadian coach Earle Morris said the Homan team will use the same approach at the world championship that it did at the provincial and national playdowns.
“You don’t have to raise your level of play, you just have to keep doing all the great things that you already do and the outcomes will take care of themselves,” Morris said.
The Canadian rink showed what it was capable of last month at the K-Rock Centre with remarkably consistent play. Homan plowed through the competition and knocked off veteran Manitoba skip Jennifer Jones in the final.
Homan has had the Maple Leaf on her back before. She won a silver medal at the world junior championships in 2010 after posting a 13-0 record in the national junior playdowns that year.
The 23-year-old Homan feels her team can build off its experience over the last few years.
“We know what we need to do to get that championship and to get on the podium,” Homan said. “So that’s what we’re going to focus on this week.”
Homan’s team will continue practising over the coming days before flying to Latvia early next week. Round-robin play begins March 16 and the playoffs kick off March 22.
Heather Nedohin represented Canada at last year’s world women’s curling championship in Lethbridge, Alta. She finished third behind Sweden and champion Switzerland.
Homan said she isn’t fazed by the pressure and expectations ahead of the event. She’s also not concerned about the different atmosphere after playing in front of adoring crowds at the Scotties in Kingston, Ont.
“You’ve just got to take the positives out of it and try to make sure you focus on your goals and not let the surroundings interfere with that,” Homan said.
In men’s play, the winner of this week’s Tim Hortons Brier will represent Canada at the men’s world championship March 30-April 7 at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria.
Notes: Two draws will be played on the opening day at the women’s world curling championship. After that, three draws will be played daily for the rest of the round robin. … Homan recently chatted with Canadian skip Corryn Brown, who has struggled at the world junior curling championships in Sochi, Russia. Homan said she tried to lift the spirits of the Canadian players and boost their confidence. Brown had a 2-5 record after 10 draws at the event.