Spotakova and Vadlejch ensure a Czech double in Prague

Barbora Spotakova wins in Prague
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Barbora Spotakova threw 62.88m at the Josef Odlozil Memorial in Prague to ensure the first half of a Czech double in the javelin

Barbora Spotakova claimed her first major medal more than a decade ago at the 2006 European Championships in Gothenburg and despite reaching veteran status last summer, the world record-holder will still be a threat for medals at the World Championships in London this August. 

Spotakova, who turns 36 later this month, delivered a popular victory on home soil last night at the Josef Odlozil Memorial in Prague. Her best throw of the evening was measured at 62.88m but her second and third best throws of 62.74m and 62.58m respectively would have also been sufficient to defeat a field including two throwers ahead of her on the world lists. 

Slovenia’s Martina Ratej had to settle for second with 62.55m while European champion Tatsiana Khaladovich from Belarus - who defeated Spotakova at the Prefontaine Classic last weekend - was forced to relinquish her unbeaten streak in third with 62.29m, her first defeat of the season. 

There was a Czech double on home soil with in-form Jakub Vadlejch forging out a clear-cut victory in the men’s event. Vadlejch has already recorded a season’s best of 87.91m and the 26-year-old surpassed the 87m line for the third time this season with 87.21m. 

Runner-up Adrian Mardare continued his breakthrough campaign by extending his Moldovan record to 83.71m. The 21-year-old won the U23 competition at the European Throwing Cup in March and he will start as one of the favourites at the European Athletics U23 Championships in Bydgoszcz next month.

Three days after setting a Czech shot put record of 22.01m, Tomas Stanek maintained his unbeaten start to the outdoor season with 20.98m - although any of his five throws would have claimed the victory - while Jan Kudlicka cleared 5.70m in the pole vault to defeat Valentin Lavillenie on countback. 

One of the highest quality competitions of the evening was the women’s hammer with four women surpassing the 70m line. Poland’s Malwina Kopron improved her lifetime best to 73.98m to defeat Azerbaijan’s Hanna Skydan (71.56m), teammate Joanna Fiodorow (71.14m) and Olympic bronze medallist Sophie Hitchon (70.91m). 

In a potential dress rehearsal ahead of the European Athletics Team Championships in Lille later this month, France’s Mamadou Kasse Hann won the 400m hurdles in a European-leading time of 49.02 ahead of Brit Jack Green (49.10) while Balazs Baji finished second in the 110m hurdles in a Hungarian record of 13.24 behind South Africa’s Antonio Alkana, who clocked an African record of 13.11. 


Elsewhere, Luka Janezic approached his Slovenian record of 45.07 in the 400m with victory in 45.23 ahead of Pavel Maslak (45.51) while Ukraine’s Olha Lyakhova won the 800m in 2:00.75.