England’s disabled anglers are heading home from the world match fishing championships in the Czech Republic with two bronze medals.

The event on the Labe River in Pardubice saw eleven teams taking part and found out son enough that the river was full of fish which kept feeding as long as you did.

The Disabled team to got bang up to date information from the Veterans team who had been fishing there, and saved them at least three days in terms of practice.

The first day saw the team replicate a groundbait mix that was used by the Veterans but soon found out it needed modifications, as the stretch of the river the Disabled team were to use was significantly shallower. John Weeden, England Manager had Dick Clegg assisting him and his experience was invaluable.

As the week progressed the team developed their approach they went by and came up with a groundbait mix that the team were happy with. The week was spent perfecting rigs and baits and on day one of practice the team recorded three weights over 18 kg and one at 17 kg with skimmers and roach making up the weights. The remainder of practice was used to tweak their tactics and more the same followed. The lowest weight over the course of the week was 15 kg.

As the first day of the competition arrived the planning and preparation was complete, results had been good in practice, the team had confidence in their tactics and approach and the results bore out that confidence as each team member contributed to a successful day for the team. Mark Eves won his section with 85 fish for 25 kg, Roy Wells finished second in his section with 60 fish for 17.500 kg, Mark Russell finished sixth with 57 fish weighing 16.500 kg and Alan Chadborne finished seventh weighing 12.500 kg for his 45 fish.

Unfortunately for Alan Chadbone, he drew one of the worst pegs fished all week, whilst plumbing up the swim was up and down over the whole length of the swim by over a foot and he caught fish by stringing out his shotting pattern, it was the best he could have done from the peg. A successful first day for England.

Day two of the competition saw similar results for England, Dick’s keen eye noticed French and Italian anglers catching well on bloodworm and this message was relayed to the team and helped contribute to England’s catches in the latter half of the match.

Mark Eves took a third place in his section with 49 fish for 10 kg, second place landed a carp of 4 kg to push Mark into third place. Roy Wells endured a tricky start and after one hour was down in last position within his section but rallied over the final two hours catching roach to 0.5 kg, and he finished his match with 79 fish for 21 kg, may of which were caught on bloodworm.

Mark Russell found himself in a tough section but finished fifth, catching 10 kg on bloodworm. Alan Chadborne sadly drew another difficult peg but fished well to finish a creditable seventh in his section as he caught 17 kg with bloodworm playing a major part. The team finished second overall on day two.

England’s performance over the two days was enough to secure them third place and secure a team bronze medal behind the Czech Republic and Croatia who finished second and first respectively. In the individual results Roy Wells tremendous performance over both days resulted in a bronze medal,Zeljko Kljajic of Croatia finished in second place taking silver while Belguim’s Dominique Piergentilli stellar performance earned him the gold medal.

Top 6 Team results;1st Croatia 19 points 139.147 kg
2nd Czech Republic 27 points 131.992 kg
3rd England 32 points 128.492 kg
4th Belgium 32 points 119.110 kg
5th France 49 points 101.948 kg
6th Bosnia Herzegovia 50 points 91.718 kg

Top 6 Individual results;
1st Dominique Piergentilli, Belgium 2 points 40.921 kg
2nd Zeljko Kljajic, Croatia 3 points 43.449 kg
3rd Roy Wells, England 3 points 38.231 kg
4th Mensur Rosic, Croatia 3 points 29.000 kg
5th Bohumil Sedlacek, Czech Republic 4 points 40.440 kg
6th Mark Eves, England 4 points 35.465 kg
Other England positions;

20th Mark Russell 11 points 25.795 kg
27th Alan Chadbone 14 points 29.001 kg

John Weeden, England Disabled Manager said “I am over the moon with this result as we have to fund ourselves and the work put in by the anglers and helpers has been phenomenal.  Without Dick Clegg’s help and experience I don’t think it would have been possible. What we have achieved has been awesome, and I hope we have many more medals in the future.”

Dick Clegg, OBE, International Events Manager stated “The river Labe in Pardubice was one of the most prolific venues that I have fished in my 34 years of travelling throughout Europe.  Maybe we caught the river at its best, but never the less it was fantastic, and what made it better was the result of the Disabled team.

Unfortunately the team member’s each have to fund their participation in the competition so it was doubly fitting that they should get on the podium at last. Not only that, we had an individual in Roy Wells winning a medal. The two teams that beat us were regular visitors to the water so third place was a great result and I am delighted that I was part of the squad that came back with a podium finish.  Thanks to all who took part; John Weeden did a sterling job with the help of Mick Gibbs, Ian Turner, Tony Troth and Colin (Dave) Wedgebrow.”

Unfortunately due to ill health Bill Galt who was initially selected as part of the team was unable to participate this year.

The Angling Trust would like to offer their congratulations to the team on such a fantastic achievement this year.