SP races in water slalom, final K1 men, women, June 9, 2023, Prague. Vít Prindiš rejoices at the finish line.
Prague – Silver-winning kayaker Vít Přindiš made up his mind in Troja after the unlucky last year's World Cup race in Prague, when he was eliminated in the semi-finals and had to deal with an injury to his daughter Amálka. They joked with the winner Jiří Prskavec before the race that they would meet for interviews after the medal ceremony.
The Prague World Cup is one of the highlights of the season for Czech slalom skiers, but it turned into a bad dream for Přindis last year. He didn't make it to the finals, and in addition, his two-year-old daughter was hit in the head by a metal bell that broke off from one of the fans while cheering. The ambulance then took her to the hospital, where they stayed until late in the evening. In the end, she didn't have any serious problems.
Now Přindiš was having a significantly better experience. “The little one had to wear a helmet all the time so that nothing would happen, and now she's giving me a kiss behind the diaper and she's fine. So far, the day is going much better, even if it's not over yet,” he said.
After the seventh place in the semi-final, he took to the track in the final in third place, and even though he was satisfied with the ride, he had to wait for what position it would be enough for. The Italian Giovanni de Gennaro and the Swiss Martin Dougoud attacked his performance, but remained close behind him. In the end, reigning world champion Přindiš led until the moment when only Olympic champion Jiří Prskavec was in the starting gate. “I was thinking about gold. But when I knew that the Czech Republic would win gold, I thought that it was great for us and for the audience, that we showed ourselves in a better light than last year,” he recalled about the year 2022, when only Prskavec made it to the finals from the Czech trio and finished fourth without a medal.
They train in the same group with Prskavec, but they do not feel rivalry. “I'm not driving against Jíra, I'm driving against time and the track. I don't think about the fact that I have to beat Jíra at the start, but that I want to ride as best as possible without touching or damaging anything,” he said.
They watched the kayakers' finals together, and then Přindiš said goodbye because he started earlier. “I said: 'I'll do it, I'll see you at the finish line in half an hour'. Jíra joked that we'd meet in a 'kiss and cry' in front of the camera, so it turned out well. What we said before the start came true,” he said .
Both of today's medalists won a point for the pre-Olympic qualification, but Přindiš, like Prskavec, is not concerned with that. “The road is long, and without success at the World Cup, points are worthless. I am very happy that I improved my reputation after Augsburg, where I missed the final by mistake. That I showed that I still belong at the top,” he added.