The Czechs are coming up

Posted on | July 8, 2007 | Category: News

For the third time in 12 months, there was a gold medal today for a junior from the CzechRepublic in a junior world championship. A strong generation of good and eager juniors is on the way up and doing well.

Vojtech Kral wasn’t among the big favourites, but he has experience from JWOC, knows the game and is strong and good in orienteering. “I had a very good race and made only some small mistakes, maybe five to ten seconds in total”, he says. He won the sprint five seconds ahead of the Norwegian Olav Lundanes.

Last year Jan Benes shared gold with the Dane Søren Bobach in the middle distance, and in February Hana Hancikova won the sprint at the JWOC in ski orienteering in Austria. The head coach Libor Zridkavesely and coach Ladislav Svoboda say that it’s a generation with talented and eager juniors who have their sights set high.

Yesterday the CzechRepublic was in fact also the only nation with two medals. Sarka Svobodna was just one second from gold in the women’s class. “We have good sprint training facilities in the Czech Republic”, explains Libor.

Even though the winner Vojtech still has a year left in the junior class, he is thinking about a big championship for seniors next year on home ground. “I hope to take part in WOC in the CzechRepublic”, he says. WOC will be in Olomouc, and Vojtech is from Sumperk, a city just 80 kilometres from the host city next year. The 19-year-old winner is from an orienteering family and has done the sport since he was seven years old.

How come you are so good?

“I don’t really know, but I train a lot at high speed. About three times a week I do that in the forest”, he says.

How is it to be the champion?

“A nice feeling”, he smiles.

In third place was the Bulgarian Ivan Sirakov. It’s really good that some medals go to nations that are not among the biggest in the orienteering world. Ivan was 24 seconds behind Vojtech.

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