“We are currently missing the category of top athletes aged between 25 and 30 years old. Right now we are waiting for the younger generation to replace the current generation. It is often a coincidence that as soon as one appears, the head coach of the national team, Pavel Sluka, motivates and attracts the other,” describes Czech athletic situation. “Doubek is one of the strong tips for the future. But there’s also Malíková, Vondrová, vábíková… A group of promising young athletes and I’m sure one of them will be outstanding,” he added.
If athletics is the queen of sports, then the decathlon is the queen of athletics. At the same time, this highly demanding discipline in the Czech Republic is proud of its highly successful past. Few countries in the world have accumulated so many medals and great records in the decathlon. Since the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, where Robert Změlík unexpectedly won, we have remained an absolute advantage thanks to two other fighters, Tomáš Dvořák and Roman ebrl, until 2007. Now they may have a successor – the never-before-seen universal František Doubek happened before.
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A 20-year-old with strong muscles brought gold from the World Junior Championships in Nairobi, Kenya last year. And a new Czech junior record with 8,169 points, the sixth best junior appearance on the planet. However, he has won 4th place at the European Olympics in Baku 2019 in Azerbaijan, and last year he was named Junior of the Year in the Czech Republic.
“He is strong in knowing everything. His rivals in Nairobi waited where his weakness was, but nothing came. He was a universal multi-fighter,” said his coach Miroslav Ruck, who was a quality decathlon fighter in Robert Změlík’s time.
This year, Doubek is facing a crucial period. He will move to the men’s category, he will pass and take the entrance exam at FTVS Prague. He will be moving from a sports grammar school in Jilemnice to a center in Prague. The highlight of his first season will be the prestigious decathlon in Götzis, Austria, at the end of May, where the world leaders will be. And then maybe the European Adult Championships.
In the meantime, however, he has to keep working on himself, as there is still a long way to go from gold in juniors to big medals in adults. “It’s very difficult to train athletic talent today. Performance has improved tremendously and adult athletics is on the verge of human possibility. At the top level, there is a constant struggle with the organism’s resistance. Anyone who wants to create the best performance is actually on the verge of injury. “Being talented is not enough. It must be accompanied by perseverance, strength and desire to achieve maximum success,” said Sluka.
The consultant for athletics is List Reports Pavel Sluka, Czech head coach of athletics since last year. Sluka returned to the Team Europe Super League in Cluj, Romania, and was also present at the Olympics in Tokyo, where he was part of the team’s leadership. “It is a challenge for me to be a head coach. The main task is to find a way to keep pace with European and world athletics which have developed rapidly in recent years,” he said.
Pavel Sluka graduated from the School of Physical Education and Sports at Charles University and was a top athlete until 1990, when he was primarily involved in pole vault. He became the champion of the Czech Republic in the halls and in the open air and, for example, a finalist at the European Junior Championships. Subsequently, he devoted himself to coaching activities. Among his important guardians are, for example, pole vaulter árka Mládková or long-distance runner Lucie Komrsková.
František Doubek has to keep working to improve the pace, that’s the most important thing. “He started as a 100m student with 12.24 seconds, now he has 10.90 seconds. We decathlonists say that speed is a hidden power. Speed will help the long jump, but also the ball and other disciplines,” explained coach Ruck. “And we are also working on the running technique. The fewer steps in a sprint, the faster you will be. We’re trying to emulate Christian Coleman’s American sprinter a little bit,” he added.
From Prague to Podkrkonoší. And the decathlon
František was born in Prague, but his family soon moved to the Giant Mountains to Stará Paka. He started out as many boys his age. “I played football and table tennis from an early age. I came into athletics at 15 and tried the javelin first.”
He then meets coach Ruck at a sports grammar school and they start the decathlon. This training is very demanding, because it constantly has to take ten disciplines. He always discusses with the coach what will happen the next day. Most importantly, he had to run a lot. When we talked, he knew that after the hurdles and drives the sprint would come the next day and then he would have time off, because rest is also important. Sometimes he also has to include stand-alone resistance training. And the biggest logistical problem is the mast, for which there is no landing area in Jilemnice. That’s why he travels to Turnov or Prague to train at least twice a week. And he also had a special trainer Bolek Pater, one of the most successful pole vaulters in our athletic history.
The alchemy relationship with the trainer was very important for the decathlon warrior. And Doubek and Rucký clearly had it. “We’re good friends too,” said the young man. Maybe that’s why, after the victory in Nairobi, he turned down an agent’s offer to study and train in America.
The key to success is the stick
“I have to jump the most on the pole now. I have jumped 480 cm, but I want to get at least 530 cm. It wasn’t like that back then, but today when you don’t have 530 cm, you lose a lot of points,” explains František Doubek.
He doesn’t have much time left, but he also likes playing basketball, exercising, going to massages and going to the sauna. He didn’t choose much from the food. But a month before the important race, they try to eat healthy, regenerate as much as possible, go to bed early and follow a lifestyle.
He loves music, he listens to something of everything, but especially American rap. “I can’t imagine driving to school and not playing music,” he said.
And like what? “He’s passionate, he doesn’t want it to end, he loves the decathlon and he wants to be the best. Good boy, easy going, fits everywhere, his kicks are hilarious,” concluded coach Ruck.
“Certified bacon geek. Evil social media fanatic. Music practitioner. Communicator.”