Events

- We have future top players in the pipeline
Date: 9/9/2021 2:51 PM
Published by : Rasmus Bech(BEC)

The ambitions are big in the Czech Republic, and the ambitions are not getting small after winning the 2021 European U17 Team bronze medal.

History was made, when the young Czech team clinched the bronze medal at the 2021 European U17 Team Championships. The young talents won their group ahead of Austria, Slovakia, and Switzerland before beating Sweden in the quarterfinals winning their first medal in 18 years.

- It is a big thing (to win this medal). There has been a lot of crying and a lot of emotions, not only here in Slovenia but also back home in the Czech Republic. It means a lot, former top player and current Chair of the Czech Badminton Federation, Petr Koukal told Badminton Europe a few days after the big achievement.

- I can imagine that they have not realised how big this is, but for the federation and for me as the Chair of the federation and ex-player it is important.
 
Big changes
In the last 18 months, many things have been changed in the Czech federation. Koukal was elected Chair of the federation 14 months ago, a new Spanish coach has been hired, and the federation is trying to do things in a new way to achieve the results, they believe they can.

- I cannot wait to go home and to “sell” this bronze medal. It has been a long time and we do believe that this proves that we have started the right way, and hopefully there will be more in the future, Koukal said.

- We have worked hard in the last couple of months, but this is just the beginning. We need to keep working hard and to keep developing our coach education. We need to keep learning from Oscar and other coaches, and we need to make everybody believing in the system we have.


First English-speaking coach
Just a few months ago, the Czech federation hired Spaniard Oscar Martinez, and Petr Koukal is convinced that hiring a coach from abroad has already paid off.

- We have never had an English-speaking coach in the Czech Republic before, but he has a lot of impact on the players, and I truly say that we in the past tried to win that medal. I think our young team made it because of him and his different approach. It is also necessary to thank the club coaches who gave the players the basics and enabled their involvement in common with the system’s preparation, Koukal mentioned.

- This medal and the new path of the system that we have taken will help the players. I believe this will increase their motivation and inspire them.

Future superstars?
The ambitions are big, and the daily task for Petr Koukal is to secure income for the federation to improve and develop the young players. The former winner of the Slovak Open, Czech Int. and Iceland International believes that if the federation handle things right, a big future lies ahead of Czech badminton.

- I am sure that we have players who can become top world class players in a couple of years, and I am sure that there are players behind them who can benefit from what the team achieved, Petr Koukal stated.

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