Roman Sebrle was the greatest Czech success at the European Athletics Championships in Gothenburg, becoming the first decathlete to defend the title since Britain's Daley Thompson two decades ago. The Czech finished first on Friday with 8,526 points, 170 clear of his decathlon training partner Attila Zsivoczky of Hungary.
Sebrle, who is 31, had been aiming for 8,900 but said the wet weather in Gothenburg cost all competitors points, adding that he had a sore throat for the last few disciplines. Fellow Czech Tomas Dvorak - a three-time world champion - finished 12th.
Javelin thrower Barbora Spotakova made the headlines just weeks ago when she set a new Czech women's record in the discipline. The 25-year-old broke that record again in the heats in Gothenburg, with a distance of 66.12 m. Unfortunately, she couldn't reproduce that form in Sunday's final, though she did take the lead with a throw of 65.64 m.
But her hopes of gold were shattered when she was overtaken by Steffi Nerius of Germany, who threw just 18 cm further to take the gold. Spotakova, whose silver was her first ever medal in the javelin, was philosophical after the event.
"I know that Steffi is an incredible competitor and I was afraid the whole time that my intuition would prove right - that she would beat my first throw. In the rain here I just couldn't summon up all my strength again and out-throw her. The gap was small, but I'm sadder about my own throws, many of them went too high."
The Czech team had quite a successful European Championships, coming 11th overall. Along with Sebrle and Spotakova, Jan Zelezny took bronze in the javelin and Tomas Janku silver in the high jump; one gold, two silvers and a bronze was the country's best tally since Athens in 1982.
The Czech football team, meanwhile, have gathered in Prague ahead of a friendly against Serbia in Uherske Hradiste on Wednesday. Typically conservative, coach Karel Bruckner made few changes in his first squad since the World Cup. Several players are injured, however, and the squad features one new face - striker Roman Bednar, who has been a big hit at Scotland's Hearts.
In the Czech football league, last term's champions Liberec are the only team to have taken maximum points from their first three games, after beating Slavia 2:0 in Prague on Sunday. Sparta Prague, meanwhile, continue to hobble along - they could only manage a 0:0 draw with Jablonec. Sparta have scored just once in three games, though they have yet to concede.
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