The World Athletics championships in Berlin were a disappointment for the Czech team, who took only one medal, Barbora Špotáková’s silver in the women’s javelin. Czech fans had been hoping the Olympic champion would bring home the gold, but in the end Špotáková (28) finished behind Germany’s Steffi Nerius. Back home in Prague a week later, how does the Czech athlete feel about having come second in Berlin?
In Sports News this Monday: Czech high jumper Jaroslav Bába is left frustrated after a poor performance at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin leaves him joint fifth, while the Czech team’s head trainer quits after 16 years; Patrik Eliáš becomes Czech ice hockey player of the year for the first time at 33; and Czech driver Jan Kopecký comes first in the Barum Rally Zlín.
Barbora Špotáková came second in the javelin at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin on Tuesday night. The defending champion finished behind the home favourite Steffi Nerius, whose throw of 67.30 metres was 88 centimetres further than the Czech athlete’s best effort. Špotáková, who is 28, is currently Olympic javelin champion and holds the women’s world record in the sport, 72.28 metres.
In Sports News this Monday: Barbora Špotáková qualifies with ease for the javelin final in Berlin – but the title holder is not at all satisfied with her first showing at the World Athletics Championships; nearly 220,000 see Valentino Rossi win the Czech MotoGP in Brno; and the Czech Republic’s David Svoboda comes second at the Modern Pentathlon World Championships for the second year in a row.
Meanwhile in athletics, Czech javelin thrower Barbora Špotáková qualified for Tuesday’s final in the discipline at the World Championships in Berlin with her first throw on Saturday. The reigning World and Olympic Champion Špotáková threw 63.27 metres on her first attempt, surpassing the qualification limit by 1.27 metres. According to Lidové noviny’s news website, however, Špotáková seemed unhappy with her throw. She subsequently told journalists that she felt in bad mental shape. The world record holder’s arch rival, Russia’s Maria Abakumova, threw 68.92 metres in qualifying, which is a season’s best, Lidové noviny wrote. The final takes place on Tuesday at 19:25 CET.
Six Czechs are in action on the first day of the World Athletics Championships in Berlin on Saturday. Shot-putter Antonín Žalský is hoping to throw at least 20 metres in the championship’s opening discipline, while pole-jumpers Jiřina Ptačníková and Romana Maláčová are both hoping to succeed in qualifying heats. Triple-jumper Martina Šestáková and hammer-thrower Lukáš Melich will also be taking part in qualifying, while pentathlete Eliška Klučinová’s competition gets underway.
The Czech high jumper Jaroslav Bába came third at a Super Grand Prix meeting in Stockholm on Friday night. The 24-year-old took bronze with a jump of 227 cm. It was the last competition for Bába before the World Athletics Championships in Berlin this month, whose biggest success to date was a bronze medal at the Olympics in Athens.
2008 was a good year for Czech javelin thrower Barbora Špotáková. In the course of one season, the 27-year-old took Olympic gold in a nail-biting final in Beijing, smashed the women’s javelin world record and was voted Czech Athlete of the Year for the second time running. On Tuesday, Barbora Špotáková, who is also the World champion in the women’s javelin, released a book telling her story so far. After the launch, I asked her which of the many successes she had enjoyed last year meant the most to her:
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