Šebrle and Špotáková best Czech Republic (also known as CZE) medal hopes in Beijing
The champion athlete in the Decathalon, Roman Šebrle gets set to defend his Olympic title in Beijing.
Czech athletics fans have high hopes for at least two medals from the King and Queen of Czech athletics, Barbora Špotáková and Roman Šebrle. The rest of the 29-strong team have the simple aim of achieving as many final appearances as possible.
Šebrle holds the highest profile on the Template:Czech team as the man who has collected every major championship medal on offer! However the Decathlon World record holder has been struggling with muscle injuries this year which have already prevented him from defending his World Indoor Champion title in Valencia, and have hampered his pre-Olympic training.
However Šebrle is renowned for his competitive spirit and ability to produce awe inspiring performances out of nothing, as witnessed in Osaka when he looked to have completely lost all hope of World gold, but then he surprised the pundits and competitors alike by pulling a brand new Javelin best throw out of the bag,
The other Czech World Champion has enjoyed better form this season. There is no doubt that multiple Czech record holder Barbora Špotáková is even stronger this year than she was in Osaka, having set her new PB of 69.15m at the end of May in Zaragoza.
Olympic High Jump bronze medalist Jaroslav Bába is another potential medal candidate having recovered from the injuries that held him back at the recent World Championships. Bába will be accompanied by European silver medalist Tomáš Janků.
World Pole Vault silver medallist Kateřina Baďurová suffered from interruptions to her winter preparations, but made a great comeback by fulfilling the Olympic standard and opening the possibility for an all European Pole Vault podium in Beijing.
Former World Discus bronze medallist Věra Cechlová has been preparing with a fury! The 29-year-old thrower has only made a few appearances this year, devoting most of her time to a training camp in South Africa. Cechlová narrowly missed the podium in Athens and failed to qualify last year in Osaka, so she has plenty of motivation to perform in Beijing.
In addition, the Template:Czech team boasts a host of new record holders like European leading (13.29) sprint hurdler Petr Svoboda, 400m hurdler Zuzana Hejnová (NR 54.96), hammer thrower Lenka Ledvinová (NR 69.03m), Lucie Martincová the first Czech 100m Hurdler under 13 seconds (12.94), and Jiří Vojtík the recent record breaker of a very old Czech 200m best time (20.60).
Barbora Špotáková hopes to have an Olympic gold to keep this one company soon!
For 16 of the 29 Czech athletes headed for Beijing it will be an Olympic debut, in the end 17 men and 12 women made the final team selection with high jumper Barbora Laláková dropping out because of a torn Achilles', and pole vaulter Pavla Rybová missing out because she is pregnant.