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
Czech javelin-thrower Barbora Špotáková clinched the only medal which had still eluded her on Thursday- gold at the European Athletics Championships. The two-time Olympic champion and world record-holder in the women’s javelin, though, was not at her best and it took until her 5th throw to pull away from fellow competitors.
Czech javelin thrower Barbora Špotaková made history on Thursday by winning her first European Championship title, the only major title she had missed in her collection of medals until now. The two-time Olympic champion pulled off the win on her fifth-round throw of 64.41 metres in Zurich’s Letzigrund Stadium on Thursday evening. The victory puts her one better than her coach, legend Jan Železný, who won three Olympic gold and three world championships during his career but never secured the European Championship title.
Czech high jumper Jaroslav Bába has advanced to the finals of the European Athletics Championships in Zürich after finishing on shared first place in Wednesday's qualification. Hammer thrower Kateřina Šafránková finished 11th in the qualification, and has also advanced to the event's finals. Denisa Rosolová, meanwhile, has booked semi-final berth after winning her 400 metre hurdles heat. Another two Czechs on Wednesday qualified for their events’ semi-finals: Petr Svobova in men’s 110 metres hurdles and Lenka Masná in ladies’ 800 metres.
In Sports News: Undefeated in 2013, 400m hurdler Hejnová ends frustrating season early over injury; Rosolová looks good for European Championships after great time in 400m hurdles at national championships; cyclist Kreuziger says he will fight back over suspension; and Plzeň win first game of season.
The world 400m hurdling champion Zuzana Hejnová has announced she will not be competing again this year due to injury. Hejnová, who is 27, pulled out of the Czech Athletics Championships in Ostrava on Saturday after the heats and said she would not be attending the European Championships in Zurich in a fortnight’s time. The Olympic bronze medallist has been suffering from an inflammation in her ankle that began during comeback from a metatarsal fracture.
The javelin thrower Vítězslav Veselý is not taking part in this weekend’s national championships in Ostrava due to injury but should be fit in time for the European Athletics Championships in Zurich in just under two weeks’ time, his manager said on Saturday. Veselý, who is 31 and is trained by javelin legend Jan Železný, took gold at the 2012 European Championships.
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