The England team for Anglers with Disabilities has finished seventh in the 2008 F.I.P.S.ed organised World Championships for Anglers with Disabilities held on the Alte Fahrt of the River Havel at Potsdam in Germany last weekend of 9th and 10th August 2008.

The England team which was made up Alan Chadbone (Aldershot), John Dickens (Sheffield), John Holmes (Mansfield), Mark Eves (Maidenhead) and Terry Naulls (East Yorkshire) all performed well, however the mainland European teams proved too strong.

The team that was crowned World Champions came from the Czech Republic who used all of their relative local knowledge to fish the water to its full potential and claimed a well earned gold medal. Their success is further proof that the biggest threat to the ‘big three’ nations of Italy, France and England comes from the east with the Czechs adding to the Russian Nations team gold won at this year’s European Championships, ironically held in the Czech Republic.

It wasn’t a forgone conclusion as it was the French team who led convincingly after the first day’s fishing, ending with a superb five points. The French were extremely dominant during the first day using sticky maggot to land three section wins and a second place, finishing six points ahead of the Czech Republic who ended with 11 points.

The England team finished the first day’s fishing with 23 points giving them fifth place, still with a reasonable chance of snatching a medal. As the second day’s competition got underway the team decided on a change of tactics, disappointingly, the change did not deliver the desired results and the chances of a medal faded for another year.

The French found similar problems and accumulated 21 points on the second day as the skimmers, roach, ide and perch that previously had been caught moved away.

The Czechs meanwhile maintained their strong fishing over the two days, ending with an improved nine points, giving them a total of 20 points and the overall victory. The French were not too disappointed as they won silver with 26 points overall and in bronze was Italy with 31 points.

Individually it was a similar story with the Czech angler Bohumil Sedlacek winning gold with two points and a final weight of 27.805kg. The silver fell to Bosnia Herzegowina angler Esad Salkic with four points and a weight of 22.947kg. The next two positions highlighted the dominance of the eastern European countries with the bronze medal and fourth place both going to Czech anglers, Ota Petracek (five points and 30.888kg) and Radim Kozlovsky (five points and 22.528kg) respectively.

The highest individual English angler was Mark Eves, who finished with 10 points and a final weight of 19.023kg.

Team manager Joe Roberts commented, “We travelled to Germany with the intention of winning medals, so it is obviously disappointing to return empty handed. However all the team performed to the best of their abilities and should be proud of the way they fished. The European teams just knew the water far better having more opportunity to practise and ultimately the best team won gold.”

Dick Clegg, NFA International Events Director added to Joe’s comments stating, “It’s always disappointing not to win a medal especially after the fundraising efforts which the team put in to give themselves the opportunity to compete. However, we haven’t fished in this competition for several years so it was an important learning curve for us. The style of fishing is very different in international competitions and hopefully the team will come back stronger next year with the experience under their belts.”