In Sports New this Monday: Coach Hadamczik disappointed with overseas players after Czechs lose all three games in Karjala Cup; Jágr now seventh in NHL all-time points tally table; Hejnová named Czech Athlete of Year but regrets absence of Špotáková; and non-playing captain Navrátil will miss Davis Cup final in Belgrade.
The leading Czech weightlifter Jiří Orság has failed a drugs test, the head of the Czech Weightlifting Union, Petr Krol, told Thursday’s edition of the newspaper Právo. However, he did not specify which drug the athlete had been caught taking. Orság, who is 24, holds four European Championship medals. He has been suspended and could face a two-year ban.
In Sports News this Monday: Orphee de Blins wins Velká pardubická for second year in succession, while legendary jockey Josef Váňa, 60, retires; 400m hurdles world champion Zuzana Hejnová wins women’s category in European Athlete of Year awards; Czechs beat Malta 4:1 in World Cup qualifier; and Czech FA drop Vladimír Šmicer as general manager.
Czech hurdler Zuzana Hejnová has been European Athlete of the Year. The 26-year-old Czech runner who specializes in 400 metres hurdles, has won all her races this year including the World Championships and all seven Diamond League events. Hejnová was crowned along with Ukraine’s high jumper Bohdan Bondarenko who won the title in men’s category, at the European Athletic Awards ceremony in Tallinn on Saturday night.
The women’s 400 metres hurdles world champion Zuzana Hejnová has been included on a shortlist of candidates for the IAAF Athlete of the Year Award. The Czech, who was undefeated in the 2013 season, is one of 10 names on a list that will be whittled down to three in a poll of people active in the athletics field. An expert panel will then choose the winner with the name announced at a gala event in mid November.
Two Czechs are in the running for the title of European Athlete of the Year. Vítězslav Veselý, who recently became world champion in the men’s javelin, and Zuzana Hejnová, who holds the same title in the women’s 400m hurdles, are among 12 names to appear on a shortlist released on Tuesday by the European Athletics Association. Fans will be able to vote for the winner on its Facebook page from Saturday.
Zuzana Hejnová won the 400m hurdles race at the IAAF Diamond League final race in Zurich on Thursday crossing the line at 53.32 seconds. Jamaica's Kaliese Spencer was second in 54.22 seconds and Denisa Rosolova also from the Czech Republic was third in 54.99 seconds. Hejnová thus completed a hugely successful year in which she won all of the 11 races she competed in, breaking the Czech record she had set three times in a row. The present Czech record for 400m hurdles with which she bagged the gold at the World Championships in Moscow is 52.83 seconds.
Anyone interested in the history of athletics will have heard of Emil Zátopek, the greatest Czech long-distance runner of all time. His life story is the subject of a short novel by the Prix Goncourt winning French writer, Jean Echenoz, called simply “Running” – “Courir” in the original French. The book is an account of the life of an athlete whose quiet, determined attitude towards his sport contrasted with the complex political dramas going on around him in mid-20th century Europe. David Vaughan looks at the book and at the life of Emil
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