4th place is a very worthy result yet also one that can be so disappointing to a team. A result where you are so close to a medal, but still so far away. For the BSV Hazard raft team this was a result they saw many times during the European Championships and in the overall R4 ranking were just 6 points behind 3rd place. When you are in that position you always think if only we had done this or if only we had not touched that gate, but that is the nature of competition, one little mistake on the day can make all the difference, and when you are competing at such a high standard you have to be on the top of your game at all times.
I caught up with Jan Suchai again from BVS team Hazard to get more inside information of the highs and lows of their competition.
When I spoke to you before the European championships you said that there was very little difference between the top 6 teams and that sometimes luck just needs to be on your side. Are you pleased with your achievements or do you think the luck passed you by?
“I think we were especially lucky to finish in fourth places this year. We missed medal in slalom in both categories with an unnecessary unlucky touch. What a pity. On the other hand we got medals we did not truly expected. Second place in head to head R4, and third in downriver R6. As for the overall standings in R4, the downriver was extremely challenging for us since the four of us have been competing in all other categories. We just didn’t have enough power to get third in overall.
On the other hand Slovenia, who have always been unlucky with medal positions in the past finally found their luck. But since Costa Rica they have also greatly improved, it would be unfair to say that it was pure luck. I was quite surprised how fast the German and Italy teams came back and with so many new members. The Czechs have definitely shown that no other country has so many world-class rafting teams.”
Since 2003 you have been paddling at Lipno, almost 10 years! In you opinion what has been the biggest improvement in rafting during this time?
“If you look at the top teams performing slalom you clearly see that the technique got a lot better. For example: ten years ago you could see teams going upstream gates without pushing the nose of the boat below the poles. Today if you do this you will probably lose your chance for a medal.”
What is the next big competition you will be training for?
“Obviously we are looking forward for the WRC in New Zealand. We’ve never been there and the nature and river looks great.”
With the competition being such a high standard recieving a medal at theses championships is a great achievement. Hazard team went away with a bronze in the R6 downriver and a silver in the R4 Slalom. 4th place can be disappointing but standing on the podium just once and you forget about your other results. Well done to team Hazard and good luck at your next competition.
You can keep up with team hazard by following their facebook page. www.facebook.com/hazard.team