JudoInside – News – The value of the European Open in Prague
Prague is preparing for the European Open this weekend. The UNYP Arena will host the continental-level competition on March 5-6. More than 500 judokas from more than forty countries are heading to the Czech capital, a good preparation tournament for the European Championships in April in Sofia. National team coach Petr Lacina is convinced of the value of the event.
“It’s a great opportunity to cope with the current restrictions. According to the current start list, we see that most athletes from many countries show up for the occasion. For Czech competitors, such a competition is a chance to In the past, when Krpálek, Petřikov, Ježek filled the hall and the whole national team started, there was a good atmosphere and everyone was proud to be able to show up on the tatami at home. Plus, the load of the home environment, as well as the pressure on the competitor is great training for mental endurance.
Last year, the Czech team won five medals. What are his ambitions this time around?
This year’s medal gain is likely to be slimmer. The tournament is very busy and the national team is in a health crisis. We started 2022 with covid and then a series of injuries for most of the competitors. This did not happen in previous waves, but after this year there was a situation where absolutely everyone who suffered from covid disease in January got hurt sooner or later. Some even take regular comics and many are pretty serious.
Four medalists, led by golden Lukáš Krpálek, are absent from last year’s squad. Who could represent them?
In addition to the interruptions due to injuries, we are in a situation where our two best women, Věra Zemanová and Renata Zachová, release the tournament at home in preparation for the European Championships, therefore only Olympian David Clamert will enter the national team closer. After a long enforced break of a year and a half, the talented Honza Svoboda and Markéta Paulusová will appear in the competition, both returning to the process after knee surgery. Jaromír Musil would also like to fight for the possibility of starting the European Championship.
When will Olympic champion Lukáš Krpálek appear on the tatami this year?
Lukáš is not yet in full preparation after a well-deserved break after the Olympics. He could most likely take part in an IJF circuit in July. Preparations will then lead to the World Cup in October.