Biathlon World Championships, 15 km mass start race for men, 19 February 2023, Oberhof. Czech biathletes (from left) Michal Krčmář and Tomáš Mikyska.
Oberhof (Germany) – Although the Czech biathletes came to the World Championships in Oberhof empty handed, according to the president of the association Jiří Hamza, they showed great progress and potential. He was particularly pleased with the results in the team competitions and the arrival of young competitors who improved their personal bests and are also promising for the world championship next year in Nové Město na Moravá. The World Cup will also take place in Vysočina in two weeks, and Hamza told Czech journalists that preparations are going according to plan.
Photo gallery: Biathlon WC in Oberhof
“Medals are missing, but I think our results in the relays indicate where our team's possibilities are. Especially in the men's category, the progress is huge. The most important thing is that we run significantly better than before. Once we fine-tune the shooting, I think we can be quite optimistic,” Hamza said.
The men's relay attacked for medals in Oberhof, leading even before the final section. After the unsuccessful finish of Jonáš Mareček, who had to do two penalty laps, he finished fourth. The Czechs were also fifth in the mixed relay and seventh in the women's relay.
“If we consider that the generation will grow up, there is potential. In the boys' category, we have seven or eight competitors who can take a look at the world's top in a very short time. I think that the rebuilding of the team is complete, and Tomáš Mikyska or Jonáš have entered it in a natural way. In terms of running, we also ran a lot of races comparable to the Swedes or the French. This was not the case in previous years,” said Hamza.
The debutants Tomáš Mikyska (23), who was fourteenth in the endurance race and the mass start race, or Tereza Voborníková (22), who finished seventh in the pursuit race, improved their Maxims at the championship. The best individual result was achieved by Markéta Davidová, fifth in the race with a mass start. “There is still room for improvement, but I believe that it is going in the right direction and the new generation has shown that it has huge potential,” said Hamza. will hold the World Cup until March 5. The program will include sprints, pursuit races and mixed team relays. According to Hamza, preparations are going according to plan. “Saturday is sold out and Sunday almost as well. There are still tickets available for Thursday and Friday,” he said. Tickets from the 2020 and 2021 World Cups, which were affected by the covid-19 pandemic, were also changed.
The Vysočina Arena area is being renovated before next year's World Cup. “We have a new bridge and the tracks should be the same as at the WC. This is a significant change,” said Hamza. Due to the modifications, the capacity of the stands will be two thousand less than in previous years. “We have no other choice. We will come back next year, but now we have to experiment a bit,” pointed out the president of the Czech Biathlon.
Despite the weather, the organizers should have enough snow. “Everything will be ready as it should be,” stated Hamza.