Sprinter Pavel Maslák before departing for the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Belgrade, March 16, 2022 at Prague's Ruzyn Airport.
Prague – Fourth-place finisher Pavel Maslák resolved his health problems from the winter, when he was stopped by kidney inflammation in the hall after the first race, and completed the most demanding spring training of his career. The three-time world and European indoor champion primarily wants to be nominated for the relay, which already has certain participation in the August world championships in Budapest. He told journalists after Tuesday's Ludvík Daňek Memorial in Turnov, where he finished third in the 300-meter race.
The thirty-two-year-old athlete made his appearance in the hall only in January during the public races in Stromovka, where he also ran the 300m. But then he paid the price for ignoring earlier health problems. “I got some kind of virus, I was training in the Canary Islands, so it stayed with me and it got on my kidneys. In that race, it took me away, so I went to the doctor the next day, that I had kidney inflammation, urethritis. I had a strange pain ,” he recalled the troubles that landed him in the hospital.
They kept him there for observation due to bad test results. “I was there for five days before my values dropped. They found out why I had it. When they watered me, it dropped, and then I started training for the summer. After a week in the hospital, we agreed with the trainer that he didn't have it keep trying the price in the hall. When they let me in, I had elevated CRP, i.e. inflammatory components,” he explained.
When he got himself completely together, he prepared very intensively. “We did the most we ever did in the spring. It hurt a little more, I was tired, but I managed it,” described Dalibor Kupka's ward.
On Tuesday, he entered the outdoor season at a meeting in Turnov. In his 300-meter race, he finished second behind the current best Czech quarter-distance runner, Matěj Krsko, with a time of 33.06 seconds. Both were then overtaken by Pole Adam Lukomski in the second run. “I set myself easy goals to be satisfied. Originally under 34, then I changed it to under 35, then I said to myself that I would like to run faster than in the hall. I finally succeeded,” Maslák commented on his performance.
He was happy to keep up with the fifth man of this year's HME. “I caught up a bit behind Matěj, which is great for me. I saw him in the Canary Islands. I know he's super prepared. I'm definitely satisfied with this,” he boasted. The rivalry with the twenty-two-year-old Krsko can help him in other races as well. “He starts off slower, because he has better endurance than me, but in the finish he can help me push it to the finish line,” reflected Maslák.
His form should culminate at the World Championships in Budapest in August , where he would like to visit at least with the relay. “I hope that I will run a decent fifth to get into the relay. But we will definitely try for the best results individually, try to get good points so that I can start even with a smooth one,” said the Czech record holder.
After Saturday's extra-league in Pilsen, he is preparing for all the big domestic meetings – the Josef Odložil Memorial, Kladno is also throwing the Golden Shoe.