NOVÉ MĚSTO WILL BE THE FIRST PEAK OF THE SEASON, CZECHS AGREED
Norwegian coaches, a new general partner, black overalls… Czech biathlon welcomes the new Olympic cycle with numerous innovations. What stays the same, though, is the huge interest in the World Cup races at Nové Město na Moravě that will be the first peak of the season for the Czech national team.
Two big innovations were presented at a pre-season press conference that took place on Tuesday in Prague: Česká pojišťovna as the general partner, and a new design of racing overalls that we will see on biathlon tracks for the next four years.
In Nové Město na Moravě, Czech biathletes will thus be easily recognizable by a white cap with the logo of the new partner. They will wear a black overall with national features.
“It should not be understood as us wanting to resemble a funeral procession. Black is a versatile and modern colour. And the motive of the tricolor has remained for we are particularly proud of our national symbols,” Ondřej Rybář, the Sports Director of the Czech Biathlon Union, revealed, and pointed at the little lion that is on the back of the overall.
Domestic event of the World Cup series was naturally a topic that was discussed at the press conference. Jiří Hamza, IBU First Vicepresident, said: “This season brings two milestones, the first of them being the World Cup event in Nové Město na Moravě. I am pleased by the huge interest in the races in Nové Město. We still have some tickets remaining, however, especially the weekend program is close to being sold out. This proves that biathlon is still very attractive and popular.”
And what is the second milestone in the opinion of the leader of the Czech biathlon? “World Championships are the second milestone, which does not mean that we need to see great results immediately. We are aiming towards the 2022 Olympic Games. Do not consider this to be alibism: we need to incorporate many new people into the process. When I say that we have our trust in the current team, I am expressing the opinion of the Czech Biathlon Union leadership.”
This means that Ondřej Rybář trusts the team too. “I am convinced that the atmosphere will be as great as it was in the past years, and that our biathletes will bring joy and pride not only to people watching the races on TV, but also to those who will find their way to Vysočina Aréna shortly before Christmas.”
The World Cup event in Nové Město will be special for Michal Krčmář, as it was there that he got introduced into the world’s best biathlon in 2013.
The silver Olympian said: “For me personally, Nové Město na Moravě is the first peak of this year’s season. I would also like to achieve good position in general classification, and succeed in stabilizing my performances. This is the second goal for 2018/2019 season. And a good result from the domestic race… that would be the icing on the cake, of course.”
Krčmář and other Czech biathletes are starting this season in Pokljuka (SLO) on Sunday. The third event of the World Cup – races in Nové Město na Moravě – is scheduled to take place on December 20 – 23.
Photo: Petr Slavík