This year’s WSF Women’s World Team Championship will feature two teams making their first appearance in the competition, Chinese Taipei and Ukraine.
Ukraine, who will be represented by 29-year-old World No.125 Anastasiia Kostiukova and talented juniors Milena Velychko, Anastasiia Krykun and Daria Vlasenko, has been undergoing a squash boom recently, with the country also making its World Junior Championship debut this summer.
Today, we’re talking to Ukraine No.1 Kostiukova, who this year became the first ever Ukrainian squash player to win a match at the World Games when she beat Hungary’s Chinyere Chukwu 2-0.
Read on as Kostiukova shares her thoughts on the upcoming WSF Women’s World Team Championship. We’ll be speaking to Yi-Hsuan Lee and Burtina Huang of Chinese Taipei tomorrow.
Q: Thanks for talking to us today, Anastasiia. Could you start by telling us about how you first got started in squash.
“I got into squash when I was student, living in Odessa, Ukraine. After I tried it, I wanted to improve myself as much as I can, I love this game!
“I’ve been playing squash for 10 years and with a professional training schedule for five years. Within this short period of time, I worked hard on myself to go from zero to the level I have now and I’m happy to still be motivated and improving.
Q: And how does it feel to have gone from ‘zero’ to playing for your country?
“I’m feeling excited to go for this amazing experience . For me, it’s a great honour to take part in the event and I will do my best to represent my country. I’m very excited for it!”
Q: Are there any players or teams you’re particularly excited to play against?
“I have no favourites but I like [Hania El] Hammamy. I would be really excited to play against Egypt and England. To step on court with those players would be great honour for me!”
Q: Do you have any goal or targets for the championship?
“Our goal is to make the best effort we can, to fight for every ball, to show our best possible and impossible game at this event!
“Training is going well. The girls are training hard and have played some tournaments abroad. I’ve been playing PSA tournaments all over the world; Europe, Africa, USA.”
Q: You’re travelling as the only senior player in the team, how do you view your role?
“Yes, I have more experience than other players in the team. I see myself like a leader of our team at this event. My teammates are juniors but they are progressing and improving. It will be nice for them to become more experienced, too, during this event.
“Ukraine always had a strong team spirit but in these hard times our spirit has only become stronger . We live in different countries now so we cannot train together, we usually meet playing tournaments or having some national training and events. But we are looking forward to playing together!”
The Women’s World Team Squash Championship is a biennial international tournament which sees four-player squads from each country battle it out in best-of-three-match ties. This year’s championship will take place in Madinaty Sports Club, Cairo, Egypt from 10-16 December.
Find out more about Anastasiia Kostiukova and her Ukraine teammates at squash.ua