The gathering of kings: the 22nd Czech Open with four champions and the best player in the world!
It is difficult to imagine a floorball summer without the Czech Open. The Prague tournament has become an important part of the pre-season for many top-class teams from Europe. This year, fans may look forward to seeing the national champions from all four strongest floorball countries and also the best player in the world!
Yes, Rasmus Enström is coming to the Czech Open, again. When he was there in 2010, he helped Falun to reach the semi-finals but he was not yet in the spotlight. Two years later he was already the leader of his team but (despite his 6 goals and 4 assists) Falun finished at the third place once again. But now it is clear that the talented boy from Västeras has become the scoring machine. He has led his team to the league championship two times in row, he won the Champions Cup and the World Cup and he was voted the best player in the world. Only the title from the Czech Open is missing.
But Enström might change this very soon as he will be leading his team as a captain. The problem is that his Falun will face some very strong opponents such as Wiler, Happee or Vítkovice – the champions of Switzerland, Finland and the Czech Republic. And we shall not forget IBK Dalen, the winner of CO 2013, with the Czech trio Suchánek – Tokoš – Tomašík, or Pixbo Wallenstam, the 8th time winners of the tournament.
Czech Open may be well considered as the best tournament in the world. Every year, the best teams want to come to Prague to compete with the strong competition, and such phenomenon may be envied even by the International Floorball Federation. Perhaps not even the Champions Cup has such a good reputation as the Prague tournament.
But Czech Open is not only about the elite teams. In the Floorball Circus (the motto of this year´s tournament) you will see 269 teams from 21 countries – Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, the Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the Czech Republic. Once again, this is a record of the tournament - the widest international participation was recorded back in 2003 when Prague welcomed 20 participating countries.
There is just one thing that is missing – a hall which would satisfy the demand of the fans. In 2004-2010 the finals were played in the T-Mobile Arena, which had later become too expensive for the organizers. The last four years the finals were played at Sparta Podvinný mlýn, the biggest hall for "ball games“ in Prague. The capacity of the hall (1400 seats) is, however, rather insufficient. But the good thing is that on the final day – Sunday, August 17 – the place will be sold-out.