I can keep up with the younger ones, Sáblíková is pleased. Even this time she was tormented by nervousness

Speed ​​skater Martina Sáblíková won her thirty-first medal from the World Championships today in Heerenveen and confirmed that even at the age of 35 she belongs to the absolute top.

The three-time Olympic champion finished third in the 3000 meters, just behind Ragne Wiklund of Norway and home star Irene Schouten. In addition to the first bronze in the triple in her career, Sáblíková was also blown away by the great atmosphere that traditionally reigned in the packed Thialf hall.

“Of course, I’m glad that I’m not leaving empty-handed. To tell the truth, I didn’t count on that. I went here to enjoy the atmosphere and I enjoyed it,” said Sáblíková to ČTK and Radiožurnál.

She enjoyed a big round of applause even before the start, when the announcer counted all her achievements. “I stood there and thought to myself – good, good… It’s nice to listen to, but then you realize what you’ve been through and you don’t want to disappoint the spectators who came to watch, they know me, how I ride. I hope I gave it back to them today she said.

Her mother, Eva, was also cheering her on right in the hall, which was not hindered by injury and knee surgery.

“The atmosphere here is incredible and I said it before the race. When you are at the start in a sold-out Heerenveen, you don’t want to experience anything else. Even though I go to the start feeling very nervous because of the people, on the other hand I am looking forward . It’s mixed feelings. One is afraid, happy, wants to go there, doesn’t want to go there. On the one hand, one wants the race to be over, on the other, when it’s over, one wants to experience it one more time,” Sáblíková described. And she also appreciated the great support of the Czech fans who came to the Netherlands.

Sáblíková extended her incredible streak of success at top events. Since 2007, she has had a medal at the EC, WC or Olympic Games every year. She will also make another appearance in Heerenveen on Sunday, when she will compete in the 5,000 meters.

“It will be a terrible hell, there will be a lot of girls who know how to high five and it will depend on the lot. How who will feel. It’s open and I definitely don’t dare to say that I should fight for the cake. It will be a massacre like today,” noted Sáblíková .

The native of Nové Město na Moravě can go to the start knowing that she has already won a medal, but it will not help her mentally.

“Every person thinks that they won’t be nervous any more, but anyway, when they come to the hall, it’s not possible. Just today, two hours before the start, I thought to myself at the hotel that it’s unbelievable. How many times have I stood there, how many times have I she’s been through it and I go there as nervous as a pig anyway… People get stressed and want to prove that they belong there. And in this hall, it’s about something else,” smiled Sáblíková.

Coach Petar Novák’s protégé won her 31st medal at the World Championships, but her first bronze. “I didn’t even know that, that’s cool,” she said. “Would I say to myself that the collection is now complete? I don’t think about it. I’m happy with how I rode. You know what times you ride here, and if you want to fight for the plate, you have to ride laps in an average of 31 to 31 “2. So from the beginning for 30. And that’s no fun,” Sáblíková pointed out. In addition to the medal, she was also happy with the time of 3:58.35, her season’s best.

Sáblíková succeeded at the WC despite the fact that she had a number of health problems in recent months. She was injured in the summer before the season, in December in training in Calgary she cut her right leg with her skates when she fell, she was sick last week.

“In retrospect, it turns out that it was a good tactic not to go to Europe with a leg that was not fully healed and wait until I was fine,” she said, adding that she still feels a lack of training. “Especially during the starts. I could have started training them around January 20, and that’s terribly late. The leg is still not 100% ready for the start,” she admitted.

The holder of the world record on the 3000 meters track gained additional motivation for the next years with her success in Heerenveen, she wants to say goodbye to her active career at the Olympic Games in Italy 2026.

“It’s important that I was able to keep up with the younger ones. It’s unbelievable how much energy they have. How many times I think to myself when I see them in training that it’s unbelievable and I wouldn’t be able to do it. Their energy oozes even at the hotel and I I’m very happy, it’s allowed doping. The engine. I can stand next to them with my head held high and say: Come on me and let’s see which one of us is faster,” added Sáblíková.


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