Czechs reaffirm position as major power in javelin with three medals at World Athletics Championships – Vadlejch has mixed feelings over coming second while Frydrych says he’s lucky to have taken bronze in London; and Sparta’s stuttering start continues with failure to beat nine-man Liberec.
The Czech Republic had a successful World Athletics Championships in London, bringing home one gold, one silver and one bronze medal. The fact that all three came in the javelin confirmed the country’s long-term status as a major power in the discipline.
Following Barbora Špotáková’s gold in the women’s event, Jakub Vadlejch and Petr Frydrych finished second and third, respectively, in the men’s javelin on Saturday. Both are trained by Jan Železný, the all-time great who still holds the men’s javelin world record.
Vadlejch’s best throw was just 16 centimetres short of that of German gold medallist Johannes Vetter, leaving the Czech somewhat rueful.
“My feelings are a little mixed. I’m terribly happy to have won the medal and to have placed so highly. On the other hand, it’s a tiny difference – it’s nothing. But basically that’s the way it is, and I think this is also motivation for the future for me.”
Like Vadlejch, third-placed Petr Frydrych set a new personal best in London. But unlike the silver medallist, the 29-year-old was not much fancied ahead of the World Championships. Frydrych had this to say to Czech Radio.
“I was very lucky because the favourite, Thomas Röhler, was short of the medals positions by only six centimetres with his final throw. I was expecting that he would get there, so I really wasn’t too excited. Also, I have to say, I didn’t have one perfect throw – my three throws were similar.”
Despite major investments in the summer and the return of Tomáš Rosický, Sparta Prague have had a stuttering start to the season. Knocked out in the qualifiers for the Europa League, the country’s richest club have seen two of their three Czech league games to date end all square. Indeed, in their latest outing on Sunday Sparta could only manage a 1:1 draw away at Slovan Liberec, regardless of the fact that the latter had two players sent off before the hour mark. The Prague side’s goal scorer Martin Frýdek said he was perplexed by the result.
“We held on to the ball but we just couldn’t get going. I don’t how it’s possible. We didn’t create any clear chances. There are no apologies for a game like that. We’re all disappointed and we will remain disappointed, because we should have won here.”
League leaders Viktoria Plzeň made it nine points out of nine with a 1:0 home victory over Olomouc. Slavia Prague, who are two points behind in second, overcame Jihlava 2:0 in the capital.