The Czech Republic has brought home two gold medals and one silver from the World Athletics Championships in Japan's Osaka, the most best tally since the foundation of the state. Perhaps the most headlines have gone to the great Czech decathlete Roman Sebrle. The 32-year-old is the current Olympic champion and holds the decathlon world record; in fact, the only major prize he was lacking was a world champion's medal. For a while it was looking like Sebrle might miss out on the title for the seventh time. But that was until a career best throw of over 71m in the javelin put him in pole position, and he made no mistake in the final event, the 1500m.
"When I began my career and won my first medal, I said to myself that it'd be great to have the world record and five gold medals. That has been my life-long target and I've achieved it! But that said I'm still motivated because I remember the last Olympics, and that was absolutely wonderful. So next year's games are a motivation...but I have achieved my life's work!"
Sebrle's gold on Saturday came a day after Barbora Spotakova topped the podium in the women's javelin. The former heptathlete improved the Czech national record twice on her way to gold in Osaka. The other Czech medalist Katerina Badurova also set a new national record on her way to silver in the women's pole vault. The Czech Republic finished sixth overall in the medals table.
The longest-lasting Czech woman in the tournament was Nicole Vaidisova, who was knocked out in the third round by Shahar Peer of Israel. But after coming back from a lengthy absence with glandular fever, the 18-year-old said she was far from disappointed.
"Of course I'm unhappy that I lost, but overall I'm satisfied. I lay in bed for nearly two months, and even two weeks ago I didn't know if I'd be able to play. I wanted to win, but I could really feel that I hadn't been training...I think in two or three weeks' time I'll be able to play my tennis again."
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