The head of cross-country skiing wants to improve the medical security of the national team


After ten years, Novák returned Czech cross-country skiing to the podium in the WC. Vaňka was not surprised by his success in the 20 kilometer mass start race in November. “I believed that Michal could be in the Top 5 during the season. All the training and racing indicators from the summer training indicated this. In addition, after last year’s fourth place at the World Championships in Planica, Michal gained a very strong and healthy confidence that he can compete with the world’s best. Second place in the World Cup is a huge success, I am very happy for Michal and the whole of cross-country skiing,” he said.

In the rest of the 2023/2024 racing year, however, Novák struggled with illnesses. “Unfortunately, injuries and illnesses are part of cross-country skiing and sports in general. On the other hand, it is necessary to do the utmost in the issue of prevention,” said Vaněk.

He would like the health of the representatives to be better taken care of. “If you want to have good results for the national team, it’s really not possible without 100% health status and thorough prevention. The same applies to youth categories. It is clear that we have to prepare new rules so that a doctor is present at every preparation and competition abroad. This will not be easy, especially from the point of view of human resources and finances. It’s a challenge for us, but we can handle it,” said Vaněk.

After four years, former great hope and Olympian from the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang Havlíčková returned to the SP. “I personally cannot imagine what Bára went through and what she had to overcome. Having watched her over the last three years, the effort she has slowly made to get back into the sport at all, it is admirable. Now I believe that she is mentally very strong and with the right training, she can be the mainstay of the national team in the coming years,” Vaněk said to the twenty-three-year-old competitor.

The Czech number one among women was Kateřina Janatová, who took 13th place in the SP. “Since the time of Kateřina Neumannová, we have not had a female competitor so high in the overall ranking of the World Cup. Katka’s results ranged mostly between 15th and 25th place, and it is clear that she is aiming for the Top 10 with her performance next season,” said Vaněk.

On the contrary, sprinter Tereza Beranová had uneven results. “She is definitely a competitor who has the ability to ride sprints at least in the semi-finals. This year, with few exceptions, it was not like that, and it is necessary for her to evaluate the season with the coach and possibly adjust the training for the next season, when the World Championship is held. But there is no need to speculate too much, racing at such a level that Terka can move in a sprint is really mainly about hard work in preparation. All representatives know that. Terka has tremendous potential and I am sure that it will sell significantly in the future,” added Vaněk.

The article is in Czech

Tags: crosscountry skiing improve medical security national team


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