The team from the Czech Republic has won a lot of medals already. Radek Fajkus and Zdenek Sejpal both won medals on the first day. They talked to us after the races on Fridaynight. On day 2 of the Euros Tomas Bohumsky won his first medal and Zdenek was on the podium again.
Friday night: Radek and Zdenek fast in the sprint
Congratulations on winning two medals each. Did you expect to win a medal? Radek: “No, I didn’t expect it.” So what happened? “I don’t know, I had good legs today and I like sprints.”
You had the fastest time in the series this morning… “Yeah I had it and then I wanted to win a medal. This silver medal is great.”
Did you do anything special during the afternoon to prepare for the final? “No, I only laid on my bed and watched a movie.”
After the 300 meter finals it was time for the points race. During the interview we still thought that Zdenek managed to get a third place behind Matteo Barison and Jordy van Workum. How did that happen? “I don’t know, I was lucky I think.”
I think it’s also good legs and a lot of training. Zdenek: “I had four points at the start and after that two guys broke away from the pack and I won the sprint from Jason. After the race my trainer told me I was third.”
Later that night it turned out that Zdenek was the last guy to be eliminated, but it had not been announced during the race. So he lost all his points and ended up in 11th place.
Radek and Zdenek started in the teamsprint together. Did you practice for this new race especially? “No not really, only here just before the tournament started.”
Did you have a special tactic? “No, only go for the first place right after the start and then make it to the final.”
So far it’s already three medals, what are you plans for the rest of the tournament? Radek: “The 500 meter, the 1000 meter, one lap and 200 meter.” Do you think you can win a medal again? “We will see.”
Zdenek will race all the long distances and the 1000 meter. He has to race alone all the time in the long distances. “My mate, Jan Pribik, broke his wrist during the training camp here at the track, so he’s watching the livestream at home.”
Saturday night: Tomas escapes elimination and wins bronze medal. Zdenek takes revenche with silver medal.
Congratulations! Tell us about the race… Tomas: “It was a hard race, there were really strong teams like Italy, Spain and France. Everybody was only with two skaters, the others didn’t make it to the final. It was better for me, I was there with Prokop Stodola, he did an amazing job for me. He was in front of the race for I don’t know how many laps, he really helped me to get my first bronze medal. I still can’t believe that I did it. It’s something amazing for me. Nine years of hard work finish with this. This gives me new energy to do this sport and become better.”
Did you think in the last lap that you had a chance against the Italians? “No no, they were really strong and I cannot do anything against them, they are amazing. Congrats for them, they won it in style.”
But you managed to beat the French guys. “Yes it was so close on the finish line I was almost eliminated in the last lap, but I thought I have to give everything to be with the first three.”
Why are the Italians so much better you think? “I think that in Italy there are a lot of good training centres. In the Czech Republic we have one Vesmaco track and that is 300 kilometers away from my home town. We train on a 166 meter asphalt track and in one corner there is a tunnel. I think it’s diffrent this way, they have better training areas for skating.”
Would you ever move somewhere else to train? “Uhm, I don’t know, maybe I have to if I want to be better. We will see.”
|Tomas and Prokop laying on the Vesmaco track after the race||Celebrating with his sister and the team|
|5 km elimination race youth men
1. Riccardo Lorello (ita)
2. Gabiele Cannoni (ita)
3. Tomas Bohumsky (cze)
In the junior men’s elimination race Zdenek has a good race, he makes it to the last five with Jordy van Workum, Harm Visser, Jason Suttels and Francesco Palumbo. The Italian sprints to the victory. Jordy, Jason and Zdenek cross the line practically together, but the Czech wins the silver medal.
Pictures: Hidde Muije