Czech Republic are looking to revive the glory days of the team that played under the Czechoslovakian flag. The man leading the way is coach Zdenek Smejkal, who is now in his second year in charge having previously been an assistant. The 2014 World League was a mixed bag for Smejkal's team, who won six and lost six in Pool E, missing out on qualification and finishing joint-eighth in Group 2. This year they are the lowest ranked side in Pool D with France, Japan and Korea. They did not qualify for the 2014 World Championship, nor did they compete in the 2014 European League after finishing third in 2013, their second appearance in six years.
The Czechs started in international competition with a gold medal win at the inaugural European Championship in 1948 and that kick-started a golden age for the team. They won two more European crowns in 1955 and 1958, two golds at the World Championships of 1956 and 1966, and a further eight medals in other elite tournaments. They took silver at the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games and followed that with the bronze four years later in Mexico City. Their only other World League campaign earned them a surprise fourth-place finish in 2003. However, it would be their last appearance for a decade and they are now ranked No.26 in the world.