Czech stars countdown to European indoors

Prague 2015
European Athletics

Prague will host the 2015 European Athletics Indoor Championships.

Past and present Czech athletics stars are spearheading the countdown to the 2015 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague.

It will be 37 years since the city last hosted a major athletics championship – the 1978 European Athletics Championships.

Libor Varhanik, president of the organising committee, said, "We spoke to our most successful athlete of the European Athletics Indoor Championships – Helena Fibingerova – who has taken charge of the ambassador project.”

Shot putter Fibingerova is one of the greatest sports personalities in the Czech Republic due to her amazing career.

Incredibly, she won eight titles at the European Athletics Indoor Championships, the first of those in Rotterdam in 1973 and the last in Athens in 1985.

She also became the first outdoor women's shot put world champion in Helsinki in 1983.

She won an Olympic bronze medal in Montreal in 1976 and broke the world record on three occasions.

Fibingerova said, “Within the ambassador project, we will approach athletic legends and link them up with recent stars.

"We will collaborate with them to attract the largest number of athletic fans to the O2 Arena for the European Athletics Indoor Championships.”

One of these current stars is Czech shot putter Ladislav Prasil, 23, who won bronze at this year's European Athletics Indoor Championships in Göteborg in March.

“I am a big Ladislav fan and I believe he has a great future ahead of him,” Fibingerova said.

"I will be glad to help him prepare for the European Athletics Indoor Championships so that he can perform well on home soil.”

The Czech Republic will present some of the world's best athletes in 2015, led by 2013 European Athlete of the year Zuzana Hejnova, and European Athletics 400m champion Pavel Maslak.

Hejnova is expected to run the flat 400m – which would most likely be the highlight of the championships for Czech fans.

The logo of these European Athletics Indoor Championships has the city's most recognisable symbol “Hradcany” composed within it.

The district of Hradcany surrounds the Prague Castle which is said to be the largest ancient castle in the world at 570m in length.

According to the organising committee, "The symbol of Hradcany also graphically expresses a heartbeat. Thus, it relates to the adrenaline produced during an athletic performance."

A year ahead of the Championships, international indoor athletics will return to the O2 Arena in February with the 2014 Praha Indoor Meeting.

Ladislav Prasil will be present at the event, with the men’s shot put on the program for the first time.