t has become doubtful whether the several-time individual and relay World Cup champion Viktor Knoch, the captain of the Hungarian national team in short track speed skating, can compete at the first Olympic Qualifying World Cup to be staged in Budapest next week between Sept. 28 and Oct. 1.
Viktor Knoch recalls the moments of his injury, due to which his road to the Olympics has become questionable:
– On one of the trainings of our summer training camp in Italy unfortunately the ice wasn’t completely clean and I fell and badly strained my ankle – recalled his accident Viktor Knoch, who has already participated at three Olympic Games. For some seconds I even thought that I had broken my leg. On the way to the hospital it became more and more painful. No wonder, as it turned out that a piece of bone had broken off. To my greatest surprise the MRI revealed that the injury was not a fresh one, but it was the remains of a previous case. After the accident, we thought that my ankle had to be plastered for four weeks, which would have made my performance impossible at the first two Olympic Qualifier World Cup events to be held in Europe. Then, when we realised what the core of the injury had been, we hoped that I would recover within a few weeks. I started the condition trainings and walking quite soon, after one-one and a half week.
– The skates, however, remained untouched, didn’t they?
– The joint got better step by step, but it is still far from being perfect. Of course I tried to skate every week, but at the beginning it even hurt putting on my skates. It was especially painful when I tried to put my weight on it, or experimented to push myself off, I couldn’t carry them out, as the pain was unbearable. So, this is how days just passed: training, relaxing, another attempt. It was at the warm-up of the National Championship when I first dared to step on ice. My performance became somewhat normal in the second week of September. First I trained with the girls, staying at the back, not in leading position. I was proud if I managed to run a lap or two at a speed close to the maximum. It didn’t hurt so much either. Regarding the World Cup, I will definitely be involved in the relay event. I could enter the individual events as well, although there’s no point in experimenting, as my stamina has probably suffered a loss, so it wouldn’t be wise to put the result at stake. In addition, every distance is on only once this time. The Shaolin brothers: Sanyi and Ádó, and Csabi Burján will be our individual competitors.
- When do you think you can perform the way scheduled originally?
– In November at the third and fourth legs of the World Cup held in Asia, I’ll surely enter the individual events. And what concerns the Winter Olympics in February, well by that time we have scheduled the peak form, and this plan of ours hasn’t changed at all.