Czech javelin thrower Barbora Špotáková has won a gold medal at the World Athletics Championships, taking place in London. The win comes ten years after the athlete’s first gold medal at the very same tournament.
36-year-old Barbora Špotáková already has quite a full cabinet of trophies and medals from a professional sporting career spanning seventeen years. On Tuesday, Špotáková competed in the finals of the Women’s javelin throw at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics, held at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, London. After a previous qualification round held two days earlier, twelve finalists battled for a medal.
Barbora Špotáková is the world record holder in women’s javelin, having thrown a distance of 72.28 metres at the IAAF World Finals in Stuttgart back in 2008. The finals in London consisted of six rounds, with Špotáková stumbling in the first round with a throw of just 58.48 metres, and also in the third round with a disqualified throw. But by that time the writing was already on the wall, as it was Špotáková’s second round throw of 66.76 metres that ended up topping the table, beating out China’s silver medalist Li Lingwei, who managed a throw of 66.25 metres. Špotáková also managed to top her qualification round throw of 64.32 metres by more than two metres.
After her win, the ecstatic Czech athlete waved a Czech flag above her head to a group of Czech spectators at the stadium before breaking down in tears. Speaking to Czech Radio after receiving her medal, Špotáková summed up her emotions:
“I don’t think I could ever hope to experience more than this. I wasn’t prepared psychologically beforehand to experience such strong emotions. And then the Czech national anthem, and all of us friends singing together – it’s just a totally different dimension. I don’t think I can ever top this, I really don’t...”
Barbora Špotáková was the only Czech to reach the finals, with fellow compatriot Nikola Ogrodníková stumbling during the qualification round. The win adds to Špotáková’s already large haul of tournament medals, including golds at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. The win in London also comes on the tenth anniversary of the athlete’s gold medal win at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan at which Špotáková managed a throw of 67.07 metres. It also represents something of a return to form after a disappointing bronze medal finish at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
The 16th annual World Championships in Athletics tournament is taking place from August 4th to 13th. Špotáková’s gold represents the Czech Republic’s only medal so far at the tournament.