The World Cup Championships are back in Ostrava. Two years ago there was a huge and unexpected boom in one place, sled players filled the hall and the championship broke spectator records. Now the Czechs want to show the progress they have made since the tournament’s success.
A total of 65,000 spectators attended last year’s World Championships matches in Parahokeji directly in Ostrava, which broke the previous record.
In both cases, 8,600 fans made it to the home team’s semi-final match against the United States and bronze fight against Korea, setting a new visit record in n ‘ any match.
“I wanted to show people how attractive the sport of Parahokej is. I knew it could be interesting. But in the end, I was pleasantly surprised by the extent of the wave of interest that managed to kick in. , I remember MS 2019 with a tear in my eye, ”explains tournament organizing committee chairman Jiří Šindler.
The motto of this year’s championship, which starts on Saturday in Ostrava and will last exactly one week, is: “Let’s experience it again. However, Shindler realizes that, given the circumstances and the anti-coronavirus measures, this will not be possible to the same extent as it was two years ago.
“We wanted to relive the magical atmosphere, this year’s World Championships had to build on the previous ones. Although a handful of spectators will let us into the stadium, unfortunately we do not have the chance to repeat the success. of 2019, ”he said. complaints.
The Arena of Ten Thousand Ostravars can be at least a quarter full. “And we are happy that there is interest in tickets again, we only have a few left for the Czech duels. There are, of course, more for the other matches”, informs to indulge. The spectator will attend the Czech duel for 190 crowns, another for 90 crowns.
“The important thing is that we have other options ready for the fans. A large fan zone is expanding in front of the stadium, where people can watch games, have refreshments and try parachute, paraflorball or parabasketball by themselves. pages at the same time, the television will broadcast information on the backstage of the tournament and the title will be the program Objectives, points, prostheses ”, invites indler.
The Czech skydiving team is a group that can make fun of itself. In the 2019 World Cup anthem, players sang that they would sweep the corners of the gate when (due to their handicap and sled) it didn’t fit between their legs. Or “We fight, even though we know we’re going to sit down.”
This year, the national team prepared the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra before the start of the tournament remake songs from last year, at their world championships in Riga, after the boring performances, the paracollege wrote to the hockey players that only they could slip their feet on the ice at their tournament in Ostrava.
“Yes, it’s nice. It shows the good humor and the atmosphere in the cabin. The boys take it in a sporty way. In the parahymna clip, we tried to show the concept of passing the national team to the younger generation, ”says indler.
Legends Tomáš Kvoch and Miroslav Hrbek in a clip of the replacement watch the formation of young colleagues. Even those who went to Parahoka just because of the success of the last tournament. They saw sled hockey as a new opportunity.
The Czechs then went through the base group undefeated, in the quarterfinals they lost the Norwegians and literally drove the whole country crazy. After the defeats of the USA in the semi-finals (2:10) and Korea in the duel for bronze (1: 4), it was not enough for the historic medal.
But the Czech parahokej grew in two years. “The national team has changed considerably, especially the conditions under which they work. Thanks to the increased support of the Czech Hockey Association, a new program has been created, the players train regularly in Poděbrady and Nymburk.
In the past, parahokej was on the fringes of the interest of the hockey association, the players having largely paid for it themselves. They often struggled to come together in numbers of candidates and properly prepare for the flagship event. This is the past today.
“We are working on the renewal of the team, five newcomers will be presented at the World Championships. The best of them was in the hospital two years ago after the accident and now they are one of the pillars of the national team. As a coach Jirka Bříza said, “explains the head of the organizing committee.
The Czechs will face Korea (Saturday, 12:00 p.m.), the champions United States (Sunday, 2:30 p.m.) and Canada (Tuesday, 2:30 p.m.) in the base group. The first two teams will qualify directly for the semi-finals, for the third and fourth selections, quarter-finals await them against the pair from group B (Italy, Norway, Slovakia, Russia).
The Russians are coming back from the lower division, which they stole two years ago with a score of 74: 1, and Shindler, along with the foreign teams, ranks them among the biggest favorites. The Czechs will try to surprise from the second wave.
“The weather is wonderful outside, we are going to fight Euro football for the spectators. Nevertheless, I think the fans will find time for the show, Czech television broadcasts all Czech matches,” said indler. “And there will be something to support, because qualification for the Paralympic Games in Beijing is also at stake,” he adds.
The top five in the overall standings will qualify directly for China, and the remaining two positions will be contested in the fall qualifying tournament.
Czech team for the world championships in Parahokeji in Ostrava:
Goalkeepers: Michal Vápenka, Martin Kudela,
defenders: Daniel Votruba, Alex Ohar, Radek Zelinka, Lukáš Michalčín, David Motyčka, Pavel Doležal, Pavel Kubeš, Tomáš Kvoch,
attackers: Václav Hečko, Jan Frolík, Zdeněk Krupička, Zdeněk Hábl, David Palát, Jiří Raul, Michal Geier, Miroslav Novotný, Karel Wágner.
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