And it’s after the Olympics, Novák was scared. “His girls” are said to be fighting trauma

Coach Petr Novák believes in another speed skating success. It is said that both Czech national team members can strive for the podium in Beijing. However, the competition has increased significantly and Martina Sáblíková and Nikola Zdráhalová, according to an experienced coach, are facing the consequences of a nasty fall that met the six-time Olympic medalist at the beginning of January.

Peking (from our newsletter) – Together with Martina Sáblíková, she is already at the Fifth Olympic Games. He was present at all the successes of Czech speed skating, while in Beijing he also gives his second charge, Nikola Zdráhalová.

“When I look at my girls, they ride quite well on the ice,” says coach Petr Novák about how he feels about the Czech speed skating hopes in the Chinese capital.

Sáblíková considers the ice in the National Speed ​​Skating Hall, otherwise also the Ice Ribbon, to be unpredictable. But Novák is worried about something else: the consequences of the January fall in Collalbo, Italy.

“Martina’s fall left some girls with trauma in their heads,” the coach explains.

Sáblíková fell at top speed, crashed into the guardrail and skated her left thigh. Zdráhalová followed right behind her, helping her older partner first after a threatening moment.

“It was nothing nice at all. I think it also had a negative effect on Niki. I noticed that he then drives carefully,” says Novák.

Even his first thoughts were full of terror. “I thought it was after the Olympics,” he recalls.

The good news came soon. The skates went so happily that she missed everything important. The three-time Olympic winner could return to training very soon. Even so, she contracted a shortage.

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“She had a clot there, it was swollen, she couldn’t ride fast. When she was training her bike, she was only sitting on one half. kilometres.

He is therefore cautious with optimistic forecasts regarding the Beijing plant.

“It could affect the outcome a bit,” he fears. “If that didn’t happen, I’d say Martin will take home the medal. I don’t dare now.”

Yet he believes in success. He just doesn’t know if he can’t be considered fourth or fifth place. In the growing competition, up to ten speed skaters, including Sáblíková, can attack the medal.

According to Novák, in the end it is well prepared, similar to Zdráhalová. “She is unknown to me. She showed in Calgary that she can drive from one kilometer to three. From my point of view, she can also attack very high,” says Novák.

The 25-year-old competitor felt that she would not even fight for the top ten before the season. “But then she showed that she has it. From my point of view, she can’t be far from the stage,” Novák concludes optimistically.

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