Anna Yakovleva is hoping to sign off her career with an Olympic Games appearance added beside it. The Kazakhstan women’s sevens head coach continues to believe she can help make history for their team this coming weekend.
Yakovleva can be remembered as she captained her team in the Olympic Repechage tournament in Dublin five years ago as they finished nearly on a podium at fourth place.
The now coach was also part of the team that secured their ticket to Monaco at the Asian qualifiers tournament.
“Of course I wanted to try my hand at the repechage tournament again,” she told World Rugby, “but it doesn’t always work out as we intend.”
The 37 year old intends to make a difference from the sideline as she brings in her squad to fight for the last two tickets at the Tokyo Olympics.
Yakovleva’s near encounter with the Olympic Game at the last repechage in Dublin five years ago, where they headed off to a fantastic and promising start before falling short to Spain in their semi finals match. Spain ultimately won the ticket to the Rio Summer Olympic Games in 2016 after that.
This year, the women’s teams in Monaco have a great opportunity as two tickets to Tokyo are still up for grabs this coming weekend.
That would mean if Kazakhstan is able to dominate their pool this weekend in the Knockout rounds, they will only need one more win to qualify for the Olympic Games.
“We are confident that we will make every effort to make this happen,” Yakovleva added.
“For me personally, this is the dream of my whole life. It would become a definitive feature [of my career], the result of all my previous labors, efforts and goals.
“For our country, this would be a historic moment, we would be the first [team] to represent Kazakhstan at the Olympics in this sport!”