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Josef Dostal and colleagues started their preparations for 2021 in Belgrade

Josef Dostal and colleagues started their preparations for 2021 in Belgrade 27.11.2020

Before heading on to their traditional training camp in sunny California multiple World and European Championships medallist Josef Dostal and his colleagues stopped in Belgrade, at venue of the 2018 ECA Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe European Championships, for two-week long training camp.

Due to travel restrictions regarding the travel from the EU to USA, the team had to spent at least two weeks outside the Schengen zone. So Dostal, his K2 partner Radek Šlouf, their coach, two sparing partners and physiotherapist came to Serbia before travelling on to California.

"Every year we are going for an autumn training to California. This year is prohibited to travel straight from the European Union, so we have to stay outside for two weeks. Belgrade was the best option, because it's not so far, the weather is better than in Czech Republic and the connection flights to California, to San Diego, are very good," said Dostal.

The training process was slightly different than usual now in Belgrade, "The water is very calm, it's much warmer than in Czech Republic, which is very good, because the hands are not freezing. How do I like this channel? It's pretty tough, the water is hard. In the summer it's pretty fast, but now I am a little bit struggling, because I am really heavy compared to the other guys who are training with me. I am trying my best and hopefully it will pay off. Our days a little bit differ here in Belgrade. When we have full day training session, we do two trainings on the water and have training session in the gym or we play football. When we have only half day, then we do long hard session in the morning and afternoon we have off. Compared to our normal schedule we have only one day off in two weeks. Usually we do three days of training sessions and one day off."

The coronavirus changed every aspect of our lives this year, so trainings and competitions were not an exception, "The main problem was in March. We were in California, we had many training sessions and had to be focused on every single piece. I thought maybe there will be Olympics maybe not, but I could not afford to think about something else than training, so I was just training and trying to relax, go fishing. I felt I cannot do anything about it, so why would I care."

With Olympic Games postponed to 2021 the plans have changed a bit, but the goal remains the same, "All my life or since I started kayaking I wanted to win Olympic Gold medal and I still have not achieved it, so hopefully next year."

Source: https://www.kajaksrbija.rs/jozef-dostal-na-pripremama-u-beogradu/