Juska smashes long-standing Czech record

Juska smashes long-standing Czech record
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Radek Juska smashed the 29-year-old Czech long jump record with 8.29m in Turnov

Ludvik Danek was among the greatest of athletes from the Czech Republic. He was the Olympic discus champion in Munich 1972 and three times he broke the world record, with 66.07m in 1966 being the last of them. 

And the performance of compatriot Radek Juska at the meeting named after this sporting legend who died in 1998 will have his rivals talking.

On Tuesday, Juska rewrote Czech athletics history by breaking the national long jump record that had stood for 29 years when he leaped to a European-leading mark of 8.29m in Turnov.

Conditions were good and Juska had the aid of a wind-reading of 1.3 m/s but he still had to deliver. In the third round, deliver he did, replacing the mark of 8.25m set by Milan Mikulas in 1988.

At last summer’s European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam, Juska finished fourth (7.93m), missing out on countback to the Netherlands’ Ignisious Gaisah as Greg Rutherford retained his title.

Rutherford will be the defending champion at the IAAF World Championships in London in August but having improved his lifetime best from 8.15m to 8.29m, Juska will surely see himself as a medal contender on the global stage after collecting a brace of medals at continental level. 

Juska was among the six Czech medallists on home soil at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in 2015 in Prague, taking silver in the same year in which he also finished second at the European Athletics U23 Championships in Tallinn. 

 

But from disappointment can emerge something special and only two days after Italy’s Kevin Ojiaku moved to the top of the European rankings with 8.20m, Juska has overtaken him with a jump which also puts him fourth on the world lists.

Juska produced the standout performance in Turnov as Czech athletics looks in good shape one month before the European Athletics Team Championships in Lille Metropole. 

Elsewhere, Jakub Vadlejch maintained his good early season form with 87.80m in the javelin and shot putter Tomas Stanek cleared 21m for the third time this month with a third round 21.17m.

Zuzana Hejnova, who will be looking for a hat-trick of world 400m hurdles titles in London this August, opened her season by finishing fifth in the 200m in 24.13 in a race won by Barbora Prochazkova in 23.45.