ECBU 2013 Country Preview: Czech Republic
Number of active players: 454
Notable beach tournaments: Olgoj Chorchoj Trophy
Past participation in beach championships: ECBU2008, WCBU2011
Division participation at ECBU 2013: Women (FFINDR Team Page)
The Czech Republic is an interesting rarity at ECBU: they are the only country that is sending only a Women’s team. As an inland country, beach ultimate doesn’t have much of a tradition. There’s only one regular beach tournament – the mixed Olgoj Chorchoj Trophy that takes place in September on a beach volleyball court in Pilsen.
The Czech Republic has attended the World or European Championships only twice so far – at ECBU 2008, the Mixed team won a bronze medal and the Open team took 7th place. Because of the tournament’s close date proximity to EUC and EYUC 2011, the Czech Republic sent only a masters team to WCBU 2011, where they took 7th place.
However, Czech Open and Mixed club teams have been regularly attending Paganello since 1999 and the women joined them in 2004 when the team Hot Beaches started their way around Europe. The „beach“ in their name is not a coincidence. They took an impressive third place at Paganello during a successful 2010 season when they also won EUCF in Blanes. Good memories of the close-to-Barcelona tournament might be one of the reasons why the Czech Women’s National Team wants to come back and enjoy the fun at ECBU 2013.
All of the women on the team except for Kristina Medkova are players on the perennial EUCF favorites Hot Beaches. Kristina, now playing with the Prague Devils, was one of the Hot Beaches key handlers during her time with the team; watch out for her forehand. Aja Mala, Hot Beaches captain, is coming back back after her first child. She is known for her ability to break any mark. Eloise Clément from Canada joined Hot Beaches this season as she moved to Prague to be with her love Lukas, whom she met during staffing at WUCC 2010 in Prague. This year Lukas is on staff at ECBU, while Eloise will be playing and grabbing the discs in the end zone together with Zuzana Belinova or Iva Klimentova.
It’s hard to tell why the guys won’t join them. Money, distance, and the date are some of the cited reasons. Silence, the Czech Open all-star team originally formed by the best players from all over the country, split into several teams this year, and all of them are completely focused on the European series, as well as great grass tournaments like Tom’s Tourney or Windmill Windup. Even in the women’s team, the number of players (12) is a little lower than ideal. It’s hard to tell what to expect as the team had no preparation tournament on sand this year and last time they played was Paganello 2011. Will it be enough to fight for the medals? We’ll see in a month.
Article by Míša Čakrtová
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