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He managed to lose weight, he consulted with the Fuks about training. I’m slim as a junior, he claims

He will compete under the five rings for the fourth time this year. Kayaker Josef Dostál has won four precious metals from his three Olympic participations so far, and he would like to increase their number in the French capital. “I would very much like to bring home a fifth Olympic medal from Paris. I will try to adjust my body and mind so that it turns out great,” he smiles.

The Olympic season begins for Josef Dostál.

| Photo: courtesy of Ivana Roháčková

After Tokyo, he changed his coach, which was also reflected in the training. “She’s a little different than before, but just as conscientious. The change of coach was reflected in the training plan,” says Dostál before the start of the season, in which he will ride only K1 1000 meters. “Coach Pavle Davídek and I consulted with the successful Fuks canoe clan about the preparation.”

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The reason was Martin Fuksa’s world champion title in the Olympic kilometer last year. “Somehow it dawned on me that those Fuks from Nymburk know how to do it. That’s why I consulted with coach Petr Fuksa in the evenings at training sessions and got advice. We discussed the trainings, their intensity in different periods and other details,” he says.

As the kayaker’s weight was reduced, the boat’s draft decreased

Another novelty was the modification of the menu and weight reduction. “It was necessary to tune the racing machine and it worked. I can spend more energy in training. I’m slimmer and lighter, like a junior,” grins the 31-year-old medal collector, who was cooked for by the sister of his girlfriend Anežka Karolína Paloudová at the training camp.

“We cut back a lot on simple sugars and processed foods. We also focused on what and when I eat. Actually, I eat more than before, but in a different way,” explains the two-meter giant, who after the ‘diet’ reached 108 kilograms. “I used to be six, sometimes eight kilos more. I feel good, the boat has a smaller draft, and that is always an advantage.”

Martin and Petr Fuks will face the first tough test of the Olympic season this weekend

They don’t want to go to the Olympic village. We have a rented bar in Paris, says Fuksa

In the past, he tried to get involved in multi-man crews, but now he only concentrates on single kayaking. “Radek Šlouf and I won bronze last time in Tokyo, but after changing the distance, we couldn’t do the 500m. It’s the same with a quad kayak. The fact that the singles in Paris is at the end of the program also plays a role, and it will be necessary to be at full strength,” he shakes his head.

The native of Prague traditionally prepared in California during the winter. “It suits me there. I have a boat stored there, and over the years I know when and where to go fishing,” he recalls of his passion, which helps him unwind from hard training.

Josef DostalJosef DostalSource: with the permission of Ivana Roháčková

Now, at the opening World Cup in Szeged, he has a sharp start to the season. “So far I have reached the Olympic quota for the Czech Republic, I will confirm it for myself in Hungary. The narrowest tip will meet there. Home competitors Kopasz and Varga, the Portuguese Pimenta or the Australians will be in form. I believe that I will follow up on the training indicators and show a quality performance,” he hopes and admits that he will not go to the next SP in Poznań or to the EC.

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The next race will probably be the Olympics, where he will sail with a red boat with black stripes. “I’m like a bull with a red flag in front of him that makes him aggressive,” he jokes and adds. “Red is kind of a return to the roots. My first kayak was also red.”

Olympic medals of Josef Dostál
London 2012 – bronze K4 1000 m
Rio de Janeiro 2016 – silver K1 1000m, bronze K4 1000m
Tokyo 2020 – bronze K2 1000 m

In Paris, he has secured accommodation for the team outside the Olympic village. “We will live in a rented apartment. It will be closer to the racetrack and the reason is also the diet, which has not been ideal for me in the past. Karolína will cook. Calmness and well-being can bring plus tenths, or even small seconds,” he points out.

He intends to arrive in Paris two days before the first start. It doesn’t matter before because the rowers will be racing on the lake. “It won’t be pleasant to have a semi-final and a final on the same day, but it’s the same for everyone. It was already like that in Tokyo. We are doing our best so that I can do it,” wishes the fifth man of the last Olympic K1 final.

They will be complete. Anežka Paloudová also made it to the Olympics

Shared joy presented by the couple Josef Dostál - Anežka PaloudováShared joy presented by the couple Josef Dostál – Anežka PaloudováSource: with the permission of Anna Navrátilová/

Kayaker Anežka Paloudová showed a fighting heart. In the additional European qualification in Szeged, she made her way to the Olympics in Paris, when she took second place in the 500m. In speed canoeing, she will be the first Czech under five circles after 16 years. Twenty-five-year-old Paloudová, who previously competed in white water downhill, will join her friend and four-time Olympic medalist Josef Dostál in Paris. “I’m excited. I can’t believe that I, a downhill skier, nominated myself for the Olympics in speed canoeing. It’s something unreal for me,” Paloudová cheered in a recording for the media.

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