Most of the Czech team for the World Athletics Championships in London left on Wednesday, two days before the start of one of the biggest events in global sport this year. Barbora Špotáková will be aiming to take javelin gold at the same stadium where she won the Olympics in 2012, but there are also a number of other Czech medal hopefuls to watch out for.
Czech javelin thrower Barbora Špotáková won the Diamond League in London on Sunday reasserted her supremacy over Croatian Sara Kolak snatching victory in the final round with a 68.26m throw. Not only was that her best throw of the year, it was her best throw since winning the Olympic title in the same stadium five years ago. Since then Sara Kolak seriously challenged her position, not only taking her Olympic title in Rio last summer but beating the Czech world record holder and two-time Olympic champion at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne three days ago.
Jamaican runner Usain Bolt was not happy with a time of 10.06 seconds in the 100 meters at the Golden Spike in Ostrava on Wednesday evening, edging nearest competitor Yunier Perez of Cuba, who ran a personal best 10.09 seconds; but he had words of praise for the sellout stadium where he has now appeared nine times. The runner told attendees they were "wonderful" and "the reason he kept coming back". At the Ostrava meet, fans held up placards to form a Jamaican flag while many lined up for the runner's autograph. Bolt is the holder of eight Olympic golds and 13 world championship medals; he will retire after August's world championships.
The winner of the 2016 Prague Half Marathon is Tamirat Tola from Ethiopia, who covered the 21 km distance in 59 minutes and 37 seconds. The first woman to reach the finishing line was Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei, who crossed the finish line in 1:04:52, taking 14 seconds off the world record set earlier this year by Peres Jepchirchir. The best Czech contestant was Jiří Homoláč,who covered the track with the time of 1:03:23, his personal record. Some 11,500 participants from around the world took part in the 19th edition of the Prague Half Marathon.
Pavel Maslák won a historic treble in the 400m men's race at the
Belgrade 2017 European Athletics Indoor Champions on Saturday, after golden
finishes in Gothenburg in 2013 and Prague in 2015. He is the first man to
win the indoor 400m on three occasions. Maslák, who is 26, won with a time
of 45.77 ahead of Poland's Rafal Omelko with 46.08; the
Netherlands' Liemarvin Bonevacia came third with a time of 46.26.
Three other Czechs also finished with medals: athlete Zuzana Hejnová won silver in the women's 400m, Tomáš Staněk won silver in the shot-put and Filip Sasínek won bronze in the 1500m.
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